Monga – Gangs of Taipeh (2010)

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Monga – Gangs of Taipeh: Directed by Doze Niu. With Ethan Juan, Mark Chao, Ju-Lung Ma, Chia-Yen Ko. Set in 1980s Taiwan, after the end of military dictatorship, Monga centers around the troubled lives of five boys coming of age together. The narrator of the story, Mosquito, is invited to be a part of the gang after a silly fight over a chicken leg. Mosquito has grown up without a father and has never had any real friends, so after Monk, Dragon and the others take him under their wing, he discovers an irresistible world of friendship and brotherhood. However, Mosquito soon discovers that in this violent world things aren’t always what they seem. When a group of mainlanders attempt to take over Monga, the fragile balance over the district’s turf is threatened, friendship is tested, and loyalty is questioned.

“The world of cinema has had a long and fruitful love affair with the underworld. From crudely un-sleek Tony Montana to Kitanou0026#39;s too cool for school gangsters, our fondness for these rebels who live on the outer ring of rules-following society stem from our own yearning to break free of authoritative constraints. In u0026#39;Mongau0026#39;, directed by actor/director Doze Niu, a young man named u0026#39;Mosquitou0026#39; falls in with the wrong company and like us, is drawn into a love affair with all things explicitly illegal. Set in the 80u0026#39;s, thereu0026#39;s a feeling of gleeful reminiscence when watching this. Violence and back-stabbings occur like bees drawn to honey-pregnant flowers as with all secret societies but it is all done with such a sentimentalized, romanticized gloss that it came across as refreshing as a glass of lemonade on a scorching day. We feel special mention should be given to Ethan Yuan. He plays u0026#39;Monku0026#39; with such conviction and heartbreaking vulnerability we felt he anchored the whole movie with his presence. Similarly, its impressive cinematography and direction gets a shout-out too.”


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