[Film Review] The Story of 90 Coins

» August 15, 2017 · · Blog » no responses

What strikes me first about The Story of 90 Coins is that it is a beautifully made piece. There is a sumptuous feel throughout its 10 minute running time. Shot in China and directed by Michael Wong, the story follows love birds Wang and Chen’s unfolding relationship.

From the local food kiosks to the rainy alley ways; the backdrop is both unusual and familiar. The characters are young professionals; a graphic designer and a fashion designer. These pairings give the film a domestic and glamourous feel, something exotic yet everyday which lends a real charm to the story.  

90 Coins I feel comes from the same tradition of romance as The Notebook. There is an enduring sense of love, marked by the coins Wang gives out during the couple’s courtship. Yet this is just the beginning of the tale. Wang’s plan is a success and they marry but life eventually takes its toll. Chen, the aspiring designer, finds her priorities diverted towards career as the narrative transitions more and more to her point-of-view.

Unfortunately there is only so much you can fit into a short film but 90 Coins’ timeline spans the relationship comfortably without making the viewer feel rushed. I would credit this to the cinematography and Michael Wong’s directing skills. Flashbacks are used seamlessly and the leads convincingly portray the life and lifestyle of their characters. I would have enjoyed seeing a longer version of this film, just to experience more of Wang and Chen’s love story but these are just the constraints of a short film!

All in all The Story of 90 Coins is a treat for the eyes; polished and pretty, complemented by the lighting and music that range from whimsical to emotional. I couldn’t fault the technical work that’s gone into the production, which has already won several accolades including best cinematography and best director.

This is a modern love story with just enough old-fashioned sweetness and I am sure the film will inspire an idea or two in its viewers. As to whether Chen chooses love over career, well that will show just how modern this love story really is.

The Story of 90 Coins from Michael Wong on Vimeo.


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