VenueWalter Reade Theater
Nothing sounds worse than a movie about three teenagers drifting aimlessly through Hong Kong, their stories linked only by their reliance on the über-popular Chinese messaging app, WeChat. But it only takes about 10 minutes and the promise of bareback sex for money to alert audiences to the fact that May We Chat is playing for higher stakes than mere run-of-the-mill teen drama. The film is anchored and elevated by three electric performances from three first-time actresses: there’s Rainky Wai as deaf-mute Chiu (who earns cash with “compensated dating”), Kabby Hui as shallow rich girl Li (who likes rough boys from the wrong part of town), and Heidi Lee as Wai-wai (who’s dealing with a junkie mom). Moving as quickly as a kid scrolling through an iPad, their characters are barely established before Li goes missing and Wai-wai and Chiu set out to find her. At first they think it’ll be easy because, after all, they’ve got iPhones, but soon the long night turns pitch-black and they realize that the real world is way too real for their taste and they’re in over their heads. A teen slice-of-life drama that suddenly transforms into a gangland noir, it’s a modern-day version of the kind of hard-hitting juvenile-delinquent drama that Hong Kong used to be the master of, only updated to the 2.0 version. Part of HONG KONG FOREVER! Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.