Obviously I cannot recognise between Taiwaneese and Mandarin. I looked at this movie only as a Chinese one. But many has placed this movie among one of the best Chinese movies in 2010.
80's. Monga is a region in Taiwan which has so many mafia bosses. There is a rivalry between the two prominent gangs here. A college student, without any prior intentions, has to join one of these gangs and ends up in the thick of gang wars and even ends up meeting his biological father.
It would be absurd to rate this as just another gang war movie. It is not. It is not anything like Godfather too. But it is all right to think about this one like Goodfellas and similar movies. There is something very special about this movie which makes me think so. Some of the early moments of the youth team, including the moment they discuss their dreams, and the realisation by Mosquito, about the kind of real violence involved, his relation with the prostitute girl and all is really brilliant. The climax especially, is superbly brilliant, that it can even compete with some of the best artisitic and classy movies.
The movie seems to have been made to give an epic feeling, I guess. I did think that it is slightly longer, but on second thoughts, I am not sure about that. The whole story, even if it happens only in a short span of time, does give a classy epic kind of feeling. Those scenes between one of our guys and the girl in the brothel is simply classic. Almost everything about this movie, especially the cinematography and the music, is more than excellent and may I repeat, the climax is brilliant.
If this was a hollywood movie, I am sure it would have got universal acclaim. Most people I know, have seen Goodfellas or Casino or similar movies. But almost all of them would never be seeing Monga. It is just a pity.