Love Stalk – The DVDfever Review

Love Stalk Love Stalk highlights the problem a lot of us have in that we probably share too much of our lives online. Do you really need to Instagram your dinner? Well, if everyone else does…

Sharon Ong (Angie Palmer) is one of the fastest-rising talents at PR Central, one of those PR companies where you sometimes have to make something out of nothing, the latest being a mobile phone service that the client is wowed by, but who sees nothing for the pitch other than shoving a big pop star up front , much to the chargrin of Sharon and her colleague, Ricky (Jae Leung), as the man isn’t listening to any of their ideas.

However, she has bigger problems – she can’t get a date, which is something her best mate Joan (the stunning Dada Lo) has no trouble with, as she’s beating men off with a stick, so she needs her help and her knight in shining armour might just be in the form of Ryan (Ronan Pak).

Love Stalk has a brilliant script with a lot of great and regular banter between the characters, for example when a comedic argument in a restaurant breaks out after Sharon’s potential ‘Mr Right’ ‘chopes’, aka reserves, a window seat for himself by placing a packet of tissues on the table. Joan ignores this and sits down. After Sharon introduces herself to him, eventually, he agrees they can have it, but headstrong Joan storms off to another table. Since he’s eating alone, Joan says, “His other seat is vacant; He is choping it for you(!)”, but before she can go over, he leaves, leaving Joan to conclude, “Never mind, he looks like a psycho anyway(!)”

I learned that ‘chope’ is one of many Singlish words used here, aka Singapore/English. Ricky’s American, demanding ‘Sex And The City Samantha’-style boss, Esther (Ines Laimins), doesn’t bother with such pleasantries, instead dishing out insults like: “Any more Youtube in the office and I’ll smash your phone *and* your nuts!”


Sharon (Angie Palmer) learns of the perils of online dating.


Another time in the office, relating to dating dilemmas, Ricky tells Sharon. “Too many women. Not enough normal, straight guys”; and after discussing the recent ‘suitcase murder’ where a woman ended her days in there, after a very bad date, she replies, “Not enough guys. Too many “extra women” being tossed into the sea.”

Early on, Sharon’s following Ryan around, while at this time, someone is stalking her, and my suspicion as to the culprit switched between more than one person on occasion, but is this the same person as the killer?

With dialogue in Cantonese, I love how in the translation in a restaurant, Joan moans at Sharon that could she NOT check-in on Facebook to a place for once, and when Sharon objects that people will think she’s disappeared, Joan replies, “Aye, that’s obsessive-compulsive”. ‘Aye’ is definitely what we say oop North! 🙂

Sharon also uses the Hong Kong equivalent of Tinder, People Nearby. I don’t know whether or not Tinder is available in China or if this is a rights issue (e.g. Doctors always uses the made-up internet search engine “Webseek UK”), but then I find Tinder has long-stopped working anyway, so it’s best avoided. It was never any use to begin with, so an alternative would be better!

It all gets a bit silly in the final act, but it’s a hugely enjoyable indie movie and also done on a low budget of approximately 1.5m HKD which equates to around £160,000. It has engaging direction, great editing, superb acting and certainly doesn’t look like a low budget movie, and can stand above most of the so-called dating comedies that Hollywood trot out on a regular basis. Aside from the stalker aspect, it gets across perfectly all the problems of online dating and trying to find ‘the one’, along with stunning shots of Hong Kong that make you want to jump right in. If any more movies are made there, please can I have a job making the tea? 🙂

Love Stalk isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but hopefully will be soon. In the meantime, you can watch it online at Flix Premiere. Normally, films are £3.99, but at the time of posting, you get your first film free… so you know which one to go for 🙂


Love Stalk – Official Trailer


Detailed specs:

Cert:
Running time: 70 minutes
Studio: Anjo Films
Year: 2016
Language: Cantonese (plus some English language) with English and Chinese subtitles
Format: 1.85:1
Released: October 14th 2016
Rating: 8/10

Director: Joe Fiorello
Producers: Angie Palmer and Sophia Shek
Screenplay: Joe Fiorello, Angie Palmer and Jae Leung (with additional writing from Thera Lee and Sinlam Ng)

Cast:
Sharon Ong: Angie Palmer
Ryan Tam: Ronan Pak
Joan Wong: Dada Lo
Esther Lambert: Ines Laimins
Ricky Chow: Jae Leung
Anne Chui: Kellyjackie Chan
Aluminium Lui: Rex Kwok
Chris Leung: LaYing
Louis Mok: Edward Wai Tung Tsui
Jaime Ong: Jessica Leung
Bella D.: Rainie Au
Hak Ying: Michael Chan
Party Reception Lady: Gloria Cheung
Carlito: Joe Fiorello
Ginnie Chua: Laura Kee
Girl with the Tattoo: April Leung
Horatio: Harry Oram
Samuel Wu: Skyway Skyway
Harvey Chui: Kelvin Wong

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2019.
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