July 20, 2022
Clifton Ko with a rather nondescript comedy. Ko is one of those directors who mostly speak to local audiences, it's no surprise then that many of his films are a little tougher to track down. Ninth Happiness is a mix of popular themes and comical styles that generally do well in Hong Kong, what it isn't is a very coherent or funny film.
Ko focuses on a little town where everyone is living carefree lives. Whatever drama there is, is faced with a shrug and a smile. That changes when a new magistrate joins the town. He is appalled there is nobody to corrupt, so he starts a little plan to mess up the happy lives of the villagers and have them eating out of his hand.
The musical numbers are horrible, the comedy is pretty tame, overacting is the norm and the plot is a jumbled mess. All those things are also part of the charm I guess, still, the film isn't as fast-paced, daft, or silly as many of its peers. Fans of Hong Kong comedy or Clifton Ko should give it a go, I don't think it's a big priority for others.