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Personal Tailor

Jun 2014

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Leading man Ge You wears many hats in Personal Tailor

Wild dreamsBehind a hilarious story about living out one’s fantasies, Personal Tailor poignantly cap...tures a host of social issues, writes Connie LaiAfter making Back to 1942 and Aftershock – two historical epics that garnered lukewarm responses from audiences and critics – bankable Chinese director Feng Xiaogang returns to the comedy genre with Personal Tailor, a fantasy-tinged satire that promises to keep audiences in stitches.The film follows four professionals who use their assorted skills to run Personal Tailor, a fantasy-fabrication service that gives clients the chance to live out their most outlandish dreams. There are different packages to choose from, each touching upon a theme such as morality, intellect and prosperity. This peculiar plot is backed by a cast that knows how to put on a funny show; leading man Ge You delivers a great performance with his wry humour and provides a welcome balance to the film’s whimsical tone.The fantasies that form the backbone of the story may seem over-elaborate and loose in structure, but there is no shortage of fall-off-your-chair jokes. It’s not just a fluffy comedy either; every imaginary scenario is a satirical look at China’s social issues. In one segment, a chauffeur takes on the role of a village chief to see if his moral fibre is stronger than that of his corrupt former high-ranking employers. Amusing antics abound and the thinly veiled social commentary is bold as far as Chinese filmmaking goes. Feng also makes a self-deprecatory joke by including a vignette about a successful mainstream film director who wants to switch to highbrow, art-house cinema.Comedy is a genre in which Feng excels, mainly because he thinks outside the box and beyond preset formulas. Behind the witty lines in Personal Tailor, however, lies a sharp social commentary that will leave viewers in a contemplative frame of mind.

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