The Lyricist Wannabe – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Suet-Ying Chung

The Lyricist Wannabe The Lyricist Wannabe is a new Cantonese Chinese film which centres around Law Wing Sze (Suet-Ying Chung, above-right) with the titular dilemma in a film which takes place over six years, from 2006 onwards – although quite why it’s time-specific, I don’t know.

We first see her in school assembly, changing the lyrics, such as altering “Virgin Mary” to “Warrior God” alongside best friend Yuen Yuen (Lai-Ying Tang, above-left) and with help from Sister Che.

Since I don’t speak any Chinese, I’m not aware of the differences between the different languages such as Mandarin and Cantonese, so I was not aware that for Sze, Cantonese lyrics are not easy to adapt.

However, the pair are suitably miffed when Teacher’s Day comes around, with kids singing their own positive songs about them, but they don’t get to perform, as the other bands run over. Quite frankly, I’d have just run on stage at that time and demanded a hearing, but on the plot goes…

With Yuen Yuen moving away to the UK, Sze is left to her own devices on her task, attending a class about this with a rather disparate bunch of individuals including female anime fan “Creamy”.

However, when teacher Wing Lo tells Sze that no-one can make a living writing lyrics, I thought: Really? Tell that to Elton John and Bernie Taupin! Hence, it’s no surprise I didn’t quite follow all of his methods, such as the “0243” way of writing them.

Overall, The Lyricist Wannabe is an intriguing film, but not a great one. There’s some amusing moments at times, such as when Sze is in her class and the teacher suggests lyrics should always rhyme, the students suggesting the likes of “Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the crime” and “He who smelt it, dealt it“, but it does go on too long.

As an aside, during this film I was ‘all by myself’ (sorry, Eric Carmen), despite noticing a number of people booked in for an earlier screening.

Haven’t had that happen in a while. It almost happened during the pandemic in 2020 at Vue Printworks IMAX, for The Eight Hundred, when a second man arrived just as the film was about to start. Okay, the place is huge and I wish more people had seen it, as it was great, but it still would’ve been cool.

I can only remember it also happening in 1994 at Manchester Showcase, for Geena Davis’ Angie, and A Business Affair (Jonathan Pryce), although while technically the latter was with my Dad, there was no-one else about.

The Lyricist Wannabe is in cinemas now, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. However, once announced, it will appear on the New DVD Blu-ray 3D and 4K releases UK list.

The Lyricist Wannabe – Official Trailer – CineAsia UK

Detailed specs:

Running time: 110 minutes
Release date: March 15th 2024
Studio: CineAsia UK
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Blackmagic RAW(6K))
Cinema: Odeon Trafford Centre
Rating: 6/10

Director: Norris Wong
Producers: Hoi Wong, Norris Wong
Screenplay: Norris Wong

Law Wing Sze: Suet-Ying Chung
Yuen Yuen: Lai-Ying Tang
Wong Hiu Tung: Anson Chan
Lo Wing Hong: Pak Hon Chu
Record Producer Wong: Yeung Wai-lun
Helencandy: Ng Ka-Yan Jeannie
Law Wing Sze’s Father: Eric Kot
Law Wing Sze’s Mother: Luna Shaw
Ivan: Ken Ho-Ming Law
Ko: Oscar Chiu
William: Henick Chou
Kan: Chung-Hang Leung
Kao: Nien-Hsien Ma
Ho Kai: Ping Ng
Law Wai Lok: Ernest Poon
Chung: Yukki Tai
Chris Lee: Tony Tsz-Tung Wu