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Opening Date
25 May 2017
M18 Drug Use
101 mins
Mandarin with English & Chinese subtitles
Lawrence Lau
Sean Lau, Louis Koo, Lam Ka-tung, Zhang Jin
This is a true story based on a repented gangster preaching the word of God and guiding his brotherhood to turn over a new leaf. Chen once was the leader of the famous gang "The 13 Tsz Wan Shan", he lost his family, lovers, brothers and finally ended up imprisoned for his drug abuse and trafficking. After jail, he devoted himself to save the lost fellows and was selected as "The JCI Hong Kong Ten Outstanding Young Persons". Being respected by the world, Chen is always asked to solve the most difficult situations between evil and good. People give him a nickname "The Fixer". However, there are two sides of a coin, Chen can work out any problem of others, he does not know how to deal with his personal knot with his love, with whom he has had guilty conscience all his life. Can he fix it eventually?
By Jason Lin  26 May 2017
Dealer/Healer disappoints those who are looking out for greater inspiration values that emerge over and above the mere events and characters.
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Adapting an actual real-life figure’s inspiration life story for the silver screen has also proved to be a challenge where not many films can make good with the concept. A person’s life comprises of several characters and plot threads and there has to be a thematic focus to enable a powerful message to be delivered at the end of the film.
This is sadly not present in Hong Kong filmmaker Lawrence Lau’s latest Dealer/Healer that portrayed an adapted life story of Peter Chan Shun Chi, an actual drug dealer who later redeemed himself in life to become a good social citizen.
With Hong Kong veteran Lau Ching Wan starring in the lead role as Chen Hua, one is almost promised of an engaging performance given the film’s premise. His co-stars, like those who play his best buddies BullHorn (Gordan Lam) and Cat (Zhang Jin) and his spouse Carol (Jiang Yiyan) are likewise effective in their roles. What let them down is a screenplay that didn’t enable the inter-character dynamics to grow onto the audience. It was sadly more of a replication of scenes in Chan’s life and hence the need for these characters.
The jarring approach of going back and forth between periods of Chen Hua’s life from the 60s to the 70s didn’t help the audience to appreciate the film better either. The choice of narrative structure is questionable and begs one to ponder the artistic intention behind it.
Production design should be noted as one of the film’s greatest technical excellence. At times going elaborate in detail by deploying CG to assist with the authentic replication of the period, Dealer/Healer made a strong point of the nostalgia and how dear Chan holds his affection for the past in his heart.
Louis Koo’s role as an unexpected partner in Chen Hua’s life is a worthy plot thread to develop. Koo’s portrayal brings good depth to his character that is unpredictable where one is never able to truly tell what is going on in his mind. Despite a sizable role in the film, Koo is credited as a special appearance due to the unfortunate fate of his character in the film.
Dealer/Healer’s initial addiction to drugs and eventual affection for loved ones should have been reflective of its central character who turns from a dealer to a healer in life. Spending meagre time and efforts within each of the several life events involving various characters in Chen Hua’s life, Dealer/Healer disappoints those who are looking out for greater inspiration values that emerge over and above the mere events and characters.
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Official Trailer
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