G Affairs (G殺): The Downfall of Hong Kong from Gorgeous to Grotesque (Chapman Chen, Local Press HK)

Abstract [Spoilers]: The new Hong Kong Cantonese movie G Affairs (G殺) (dir. Lee Cheuk-pan; starring Chapman To, Hanna Chan) begins with a suspected murder case concerning the detached head of a Mainland Chinese female sex worker Mei, who has moved to HK. The ominous music, the grim color script, the characterization of the heroes and heroines therein, and the Kafkaien plot all give the impression that HK is a dying city. In fact, none of the six major characters are healthy, positive or happy, including a morose high school girl Rain who has caught gonorrhea from her teacher-lover, a corrupt, brutal cop who colludes with Communist China tycoons, local authorities and thugs, the downtrodden Mainland sex worker Mei who loses her head, a frustrated cello-boy abandoned by his parents, an autistic boy senselessly assisting the corrupt cop, an elegant but ill lady married to the wrong man. The sharp contrast between the refined mother and the sordid step-mother Mei symbolizes the decline of HK from gorgeous to grotesque since 1997 as a consequence of the collusion between HK and Beijing authorities to colonize Hongkongers. In fact, almost all the main characters eventually die of either murder or suicide or illness. However, as pointed out to the author by Chapman To, the fact that the heroine Rain and the cello-hero eventually fall in love with each other, and may or may NOT jump to their death at the end indicates that there is still hope for Hong Kong. Below please find an explication of the symbolism of G which links up different elements of the film.

Full Text:

G for Gun/Gang

Rain’s father Lung Ye is a gun-bearing corrupt HK cop who is no different than gangsters. He robs, rapes, loots and kills. He colludes with food hygiene officers, undercover agents, informants, big brothers of triad gangs, corrupt politicians, drug dealers, Communist China tycoons, assassins, lawmakers, advisers, paparazzis, snake-heads, human traffickers, smugglers, counterfeit ID card sellers, etc. As observed by the cello-boy, the situation is just like China, where the more filthy the underneath layer is, the more beautiful the upper layer looks.

G for Gastric Cancer

It is the disease which kills the elegant, well-educate mother of the young heroine Rain. She used to teach her daughter La dame aux camélias.

G for ji (妓/雞whore/chicken in Putonghua)

Mei, the step-mother of Rain is a sex-worker. The sharp contrast between the two mothers symbolizes the discrepancy between pre-1997 British Hong Kong and post-1997 Communist Hong Kong.

G for G Major

Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major is the number which the cello-hero is always playing. He is a frustrated high schoolboy who secretly loves Rain. He often complains, “In Hong Kong, you may make a living by drug-trafficking or by prostitution; even cops who take photos from underneath women’s skirts, beat up protesters, accept bribes, torture people, sexually assault little girls, rape witnesses, make a living; a Chief Executive who has encouraged the gunning down of citizens, engaged in corrupt practices, and perverted the law, also make a living. Just dedicated young musicians cannot make a living! And old assholes call young people like me useless youths.

G for Gonorrhea

It is the disease which Rain has contracted via doing blow jobs for her high school teacher Marcus.

G for Gospel

Marcus brings Rain and her sex-worker-step-mother Mei, whom Marcus has hired, to church, where they read the Gospel and sing, “God is able, God is able….” This, apparently, depicts Marcus’ hypocrisy.

G for Gay

Don, an autistic schoolboy, who is the best friend of Rain and the cello-boy, as well as an underling used by Lung Ye the corrupt cop to dispose of Mei’s body, is allegedly gay.

G for Go

It is the last word uttered by Rain and the cello-boy towards the end of the movie. After declaring love to each other, it seems that they are going to jump off the rooftop of a building. But no bodies are seen after that. So it is an open ending.

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