David: Hello everyone! Today we are discussing The Story of 90 Coins, the directorial debut of Malaysian film director Michael Wong. The short film tells us the story of Wang and Chen, who are first beginning, and then falling out of a relationship. The story is subtitled in English, and is available on Vimeo. Here is the IMDB page!
Well, my initial thoughts are positive on the short. It’s a little slice of a love story, with a decent message. There are parts I enjoyed more than others - I ultimately think the script is the strongest part - but overall it’s a story that I think a lot of people will relate to.
What were your initial thoughts Shannon?
Shannon: I agree with you, David. The love story was a good one to watch, and towards the end it hit all the feels along with a message that can relate to many people. The script is good, as Chen retells the story of falling in love and then losing that love. I personally, like the film shots taken, particularly when she was reading all the little notes from Wang.
What did you think of the filmography in this short film?
David: I was a bit mixed on those grounds. The film did a good job of varying the shots, but there were quite a few that I could have done without. I’m not usually a fan of angled close-ups of people’s faces, and it seemed like Wong was happy doing that continuously. I do think that the varying of the the angles allows for more movement within the story though, and helps move the story forward.
As the film goes on, I feel like there is a color scheme change. Chen goes back and forth from wearing white, to black. I thought it was interesting that in the scene that Wang catches a kiss on the head by Andre (what a great name for a guy we’re supposed to hate - the only likeable Andre is Andre the giant!) she was wearing black. I wonder if this was purposeful by the director and costume designers, because at that point the love is starting to go out of their relationship. Colors can symbolize so many things, including the love we have or we lose.
I thought that Dongjun Han, who played Wang was the star. It’s hard to be reduced to a voice over, but I enjoyed the way he told the stories when Chen was reading the cards. Did you prefer Chen or Wang’s acting?
Shannon: That’s hard to say, I feel like each of them were perfect in their roles and I don’t think I’d be able to choose one over the other. Chen was shown more in the film, especially after the incident with Andre, but Wang was still in the background. Like you said, when Chen was reading the cards all he had was the voice and the flashbacks of memories. For me, this was my favorite part of the film. Chen’s emotions were really brought to screen.
Going back to what you said about the face shots, I don’t think there were too many of them. When they were there, I felt like it added to the emotions of the story and helped the story along better. Also, I didn’t catch the whole color scheme changes (probably because I was more focused on reading what they were saying), but I see what you mean. What a great aspect to include in a short film like this.
I just enjoyed the short film altogether even though it wasn’t the happiest of endings. What about you? What would you rate it?
David: I wasn’t concerned with the amount of face shots, more just the angles they were shot from. I liked the different emotions in that scene as well. The establishment of a relationship is always (well, not always, but usually) a solid area of character development, and 90 Coins is no different.
I liked it, didn’t love it, but will probably rate it a “B”. What about you Shannon?
Shannon: I think I’ll be giving this short a “Liked It” (4/5).
Thanks for reading! The short is available on Vimeo, and I’d recommend watching it. It’s only about 9 minutes in all! Thanks again to Michael Wong for reaching out to us!
David and Shannon write about movies.