Andy Lau

Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau was injured in Thailand and his fans are worried

Hong Kong actor Andy Lau at the Golden Horse Film Awards in Taipei, Taiwan, November 23, 2013 AFP/Getty Images)

Hong Kong actor Andy Lau at the Golden Horse Film Awards in Taipei, Taiwan, November 23, 2013 AFP/Getty Images)

 

Hong Kong singer and actor Andy Lau Tak-wak has been injured in Thailand and his fans all over the world are worried about his condition. (I include myself among those fans.)

Lau, 55, was filming a commercial in Khao Lak, Thailand On Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. Something spooked the horse he was riding and Lau was thrown to the ground. Some reports say that the horse stepped on his waist, which sounds very serious. Nevertheless, Lau’s PR people said that everything is under control and that there’s nothing to worry about.
Reuters quoted Lau’s blog: “There was an accident when I was shooting for a commercial in Thailand on January 17. I fell from a horse and this lacerated my pelvic bone. Right now a medical team is taking proper care of me. I am doing well. Please do not worry. Thank you for your well wishes.”

Lau was flown back to Hong Kong for surgery. Hong Kong police stopped traffic so that his ambulance could get from the airport to Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital as quickly as possible. However, the Hong Kong newspaper The Standard said that: “Lau had to wait inside the ambulance for about 10 to 20 minutes as the hospital entrance was blocked by a large group of journalists who awaited him.”

A video on the web site of the South China Morning Post shows dozens, possibly even hundreds, of those journalists and photographers surrounding the ambulance.

The Standard said that it might take three months for Lau to recover. It also mentioned another mishap with a horse during the filming of The Warlords. “In 2007, Lau jumped off a horse after failing to stop it when he was shooting The Warlords. He was nearly trampled upon by other horses from behind.”

Andy Lau rides a horse in the 2007 Film The Warlords.

Andy Lau rides a horse in the 2007 Film The Warlords.

The South China Morning Post quoted “retired broadcaster Cheung Man-sun” who said that “Lau is the pride of Hong Kong and well regarded among the Chinese communities around the world. He is one of the most hard-working personalities in the industry. . .”

Fans of Hong Kong cinema will already know Lau’s work. For others. . . Andy Lau started out on TV, then moved to films. He is versatile, being equally at home with romantic comedies or criminal capers set in the modern day. He has played crooks and cops, and plays both at the same time in Infernal Affairs (2002), the film that Martin Scorsese remade as The Departed, in 2006. He has also appeared in many historical films, playing both military men and an early philosophical peacenik.

One of his most recent films is The Great Wall, directed by Zhang Yimou. The film is controversial in some quarters because Matt Damon is in it. However, in many countries, Andy Lau will be a bigger box-office draw more than Damon will. (Contrary to expectations, Damon does not “save China” in the film.) Coincidentally, in The Departed, Damon played a crook who infiltrated the police force, which was Lau’s role in Infernal Affairs.

Lau also worked with Zhang Yimou for House of Flying Daggers (2004). Other directors Lau has worked with include Johnnie To, Tsui Hark, Wong Kar-Wai, Feng Xiaogang, Ann Hui, Gordon Chan, and Sammo Hung.

In the film Lost and Love (2015) Andy Lau plays a man who travels thousands of miles throughout China, looking for his son, who was kidnapped as a young child.

In the film Lost and Love (2015) Andy Lau plays a man who travels thousands of miles throughout China, looking for his son, who was kidnapped as a young child.

 

Andy Lau’s films have been shown at film festivals in Cannes, Venice, Busan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Toronto, and at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival. Many get a general release in North America, as well. (Here in Montreal, Cineplex Forum often shows Chinese films.)

Here are the names of just a few of Andy Lau’s many films. (Visit imdb.com for a full list of Andy Lau’s films.)
My Beloved Bodyguard (2016); Saving Mr. Wu (2015); Lost and Love (2015); Blind Detective (2013); Firestorm (2013); Cold War (2012); What Women Want (2011); A Simple Life (2011); Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010); The Warlords (2007); A World Without Thieves (2004); Infernal Affairs 3 (2003); Running on Karma (2003); Infernal Affairs (2002); Saviour of the Soul (1991); Days of Being Wild (1990); As Tears Go By (1988)

The web site for Andy Lau’s fans is called Andy World Club.

Lau, or at least his Chinese given name, Tak-Wah, is even featured in the popular Korean TV drama Goblin. One character, Deok-hwa (it sounds the same as Tak-Wah) was given that name because his uncle likes Andy Lau.

Actors Andy Lau, left, Xu Jinglei, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Jet Li and director Peter Chan at a press conference for the movie The Warlords, in Beijing, Dec. 6, 2007. (Xinhua/Lu Xin)

Actors Andy Lau, left, Xu Jinglei, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Jet Li and director Peter Chan at a press conference for the movie The Warlords, in Beijing, Dec. 6, 2007. (Xinhua/Lu Xin)

 

Oh, I almost forgot! Andy Lau also has a local, Montreal connection. . .sort of. At the Golden Horse Awards in 2012, Montreal director Yung Chang won the Golden Horse Award for Best Documentary. In the photo below, Andy Lau greets Qi Moxiang, a retired boxer and boxing coach, who is the main focus of Chang’s film, China Heavyweight. Everyone connected to the film was thrilled to meet Lau.

Hong Kong actor Andy Lau, left, shakes hands with Qi Moxiang at the 2012 Golden Horse Awards in Taipei, Taiwan. Qi is the main character in the documentary China Heavyweight, by Canadian director Yung Chang.

Hong Kong actor Andy Lau, left, shakes hands with Qi Moxiang at the 2012 Golden Horse Awards in Taipei, Taiwan. Qi is the main character in the documentary China Heavyweight, by Canadian director Yung Chang.

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Lost and Love movie review: Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau plays a heartbroken father determined to find his lost son

Lei Zekuan (Andy Lau) passes out fliers with photos of his missing son in a scene from the Chinese film Lost and Love. (China Lion Film Distribution)

Lei Zekuan (Andy Lau) passes out fliers with photos of his missing son in a scene from the Chinese film Lost and Love. (China Lion Film Distribution)

Even though I’m a longtime fan of Hong Kong movie star Andy Lau, I didn’t know that he has made more than 140 films. Busy, busy man!

The versatile actor with the killer cheekbones is equally at home as a handsome, well-dressed guy in frothy rom-coms, as a gangster or cop in crime stories, or as a swashbucking hero in period costume epics.

In Lost and Love (Shi Gu), Lau’s character, Lei Zekuan, is not glamourous, but he is heroic all the same, in his own quiet way.

For 15 years, farmer Lei his been searching for his son, Lei Da, who was abducted while Lei and his wife were working in their orchard. The boy was under his grandmother’s care; someone ran off with him when her back was turned for a moment.

While Lau’s character is sad and subdued, but he’s stubborn, too, determined to carry on and never give up. And he’s not so absorbed in his own quest that he can’t sympathize with others who are in the same boat.

Despite all the paranoia about “stranger danger,” children in North America are more likely to be abducted by a divorced or separated parent who disagrees with a child custody ruling. In China, however, many children are abducted by strangers and sold to carry on the family name, work in the family business, and, eventually, support their new “parents” when old age comes. China’s one child policy and its preference for boys makes child trafficking a lucrative business. In fact, the film’s press notes say that human trafficking (of women and children) is a $30 billion business in China.

And, according to an article on the web site Women of China, before a recent change in legislation, people who bought women or children were only “sentenced to a maximum of three years imprisonment, or detained or put under control for a short time. Most of the buyers only receive a verbal warning, if they did not abuse the women and children before the authorities found them.”

Lost and Love opens with a photo of a beautiful baby, then we see a distraught young woman in a busy intersection – “My child is missing, have you seen her?” she asks, while brandishing photos of her daughter; some do speak with her briefly (“Where did you lose her?” “You should try the Internet,”) while others just hurry by on their way to wherever.

Then the scene switches to Lau, as a weary-looking Lei; he’s one of many men standing on the open deck of a moving ferry. His face is dark from the sun and there are grey hairs in his beard and mustache. No fancy clothes here. He still has his famous sharp cheekbones, though. Lei slumps over his motorcycle, awkwardly trying to nap while his fellow passengers examine the large fabric banner attached to the bike, which shows a photo of his son as a baby, along with details of his disappearance.

One man tells Lei his quest is useless, and he should give up, another man that there’s no way a father could stop looking for his child. Nearby passengers get caught up in the argument and almost come to blows; Lei just waits for the ferry to dock so he can continue his search.

Zeng Shuai (Jing Boran)  repairs Lei Zekuan's damaged motorcycle in a scene from the Chinese film Lost and Love. (China Lion Film Distribution)

Zeng Shuai (Jing Boran) repairs Lei Zekuan’s damaged motorcycle in a scene from the Chinese film Lost and Love. (China Lion Film Distribution)

In an accident that is suggested rather than shown, Lei and his motorcycle sustain some damage. The bike is repaired by young Zeng Shuai (Jing Boran) who reveals that he was abducted himself. Of course, this is very convenient for the plot, but considering how widespread the problem is, it doesn’t seem like such a farfetched development.

Zeng yearns to see his parents again and wonders if they are looking for him, too. He’s distressed, because even in his dreams he can’t see his mother’s face; he can only remember her long braid, a bridge and a bamboo grove. He has practical concerns, too, as a stolen child, without an all-important ID card, he couldn’t continue his education, he can’t marry, he can’t even take a train.

Lei and Zeng hit the road together. China’s major cities might be drowning in air pollution, but there is still some astounding greenery to be seen in the countryside. While they travel, something like a father-son bond develops between them; it’s charming to watch, but they also bicker a lot, which tried my patience. That’s my only complaint about this film, really.

China is huge and so is its population. Trying to find one person seems like an impossible task, but that’s where the power of social media comes in. Lei and Zeng make frequent visits to Internet cafes where they exchange information with people all over China. A woman tells Lei about a teen who might be his son. Hundreds of photos of bridges are sent to Zeng. (The film’s credits mention a real-life organization called Baby Come Home, which has more than 100,000 volunteers across China. Read an English language story about it here, visit the Baby Come Home web site here.)

Tony Leung Ka-Fai, left has a cameo role as a policeman.

Tony Leung Ka-Fai, left, in a cameo role as a policeman, gives Andy Lau directions in the Chinese film Lost and Love. (China Lion Film Distribution)

Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Sandra Ng make cameo appearances in Lost and Love as a police officer and a baby trafficker, respectively.

Lost and Love is written and directed by Peng Sanyuan. She’s a novelist who has also written TV shows, this is the first time she has directed a film.

Lost and Love is in Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles. It opens on Friday, March 20, 2015. In Montreal it will be shown at:
Cineplex Odeon Forum Cinemas, 2313 Ste. Catherine St. W. Montreal, QC H3H 1N2

Lost and Love will be shown in the Canadian cities of Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. In the U.S. it will be shown in New York State, Washington State, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Michigan. More information about Canadian and U.S. screenings is available here.
Information about Lost and Love screenings in Australia and New Zealand here.