Set in New York City, China Town, our leading character is a Grandma (Tsai Chin) who recently lost her husband. Feeling alone and frustrated, she decides to visit a local ‘fortune teller’ and is told that good luck will come to her on the 28th October. Grandma marks this date on her calendar. The day soon arrives, and Grandma decides to visit a local casino. Beginning to gamble, she wins big. Feeling confident, she decides to bet big again, continuing to win large sums of money and her evening is filled with good luck as the fortune-teller told her. But Grandma’s luck does run out when she makes an enormous bet and sadly loses the lot.
But while heading home on a bus, Grandma finds a large sum of money in a bag which she decides to keep for herself. Little does she know that the large sum of cash belongs to a dangerous gang. Now, Grandma finds herself caught in the middle of a violent gang war and decides to hire herself a bodyguard for protection just in case. Will she be able to keep the money to herself without anyone knowing the truth? Can Grandma outsmart the gangs trying to hunt down the money?
The film’s opening and introduction of our leading lady is brilliant. Not only is the movie’s plot clearly outlined, but we also have excellent character introduction. Grandma, as a character, isn’t just some dull old lady. She’s quite smart in many areas and she has large amounts of determination, but she’s also seeking joy. Grandma is also fairly keen to look after herself rather than depend on others around her. Once she’s told that her lucky day is coming, she commits 100%. She’s a fun character to watch, and to my surprise, she was also capable of delivering heartfelt moments throughout the film.
The performance of Grandma played by Tsai Chin was outstanding, and I found her performance believable. The actress who is now 87 years old, was just so perfect in this role and her performance alone is worthy of a positive review. The amount of different emotions this actress was able to bring to the screen was also stunning. Hsiao-Yuan Ha, who plays Grandma’s large and slightly slow bodyguard, bounced off our leading actress nicely and managed to bring some touching moments to the screen in his supporting role.
As a plot, I found myself feeling several emotions as an audience member. One moment I saw this film to be rather funny, then dramatic, and even surprising. Lucky Grandma has nothing predictable when it comes to its plot. The script is well written and full of witty dialogue. The film’s soundtrack is also worth mentioning as I felt it was a great match with each new situation or emotion our leading character found themselves in. The music never felt out of place, and it fitted perfectly.
Overall, Lucky Grandma is a wonderfully made film. It delivers a variety of genres and emotions such as comedy, drama, and many surprises when it comes to the film’s plot. The leading performance by actress Tsai Chin is a pleasure to see and she was entirely believable in this role. The film’s soundtrack matched perfectly, and the film’s plot is unlike anything I’ve witnessed in cinema before. I naturally had lots of fun with the film, and I hope many movie lovers will seek this film out upon its cinematic release in Australia.
Lucky Grandma (2019) is Available in Cinemas from October 8th!
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Review Written by Peter Walkden