Taxi Stories 2017
1h 35min | Drama | 27 April 2017 (USA)
In an increasingly economically polarized and virtually connected 24 hour Asia, a poor Beijing taxi driver, a pregnant Hong Kong trophy wife and a Jakarta slum kid struggle to connect despite the constraints of their social class.
What happens when two people from different countries or social backgrounds share an intimate space such as a taxi, knowing that their paths may never cross again? Can they truly connect as human beings by temporarily putting aside their facades? These are the questions newcomer writer-director Doris Yeung asks in her second dramatic feature, Taxi Stories. This ambitious, cross-cultural film, while intriguing, ultimately falls a bit short of its promise.
Shot on location in Jakarta, Hong Kong and Beijing, Taxi Stories weaves together tales of three contemporary Asians separated by fate but connected by their chance encounters, with dialogue in Bahasa, Cantonese and Mandarin. The main characters include a 13-year-old Indonesian slum kid cum taxi driver who falls for a beautiful Australian tourist when she hires him for the day; the pregnant, lonely trophy wife of a wealthy Hong Kong businessman and her unlikely friendship with an Indonesian maid; and a closet-case Beijing taxi driver who hits on his rich, young gay customer while driving him home one night.
In the storylines, class, sexuality and cross-cultural relations are intertwined, with unequal power plays a focal point of these chance relationships. Of the three narratives, the Beijing taxi driver tale feels the most complete, and the transformations that the two men undergo toward the end come across are convincing and believable. Less developed is the story about the young Indonesian driver Adi, although the lead up to the surprising end works as he realizes that one of his customers is connected to his long-deceased mother who used to work in Hong Kong.
Director: Doris Yeung
Writer: Doris Yeung
Stars: Corallin Cao, Aaron Chow, Thomas Chow
Country: China | Hong Kong | Indonesia | Netherlands
Release Date: 27 April 2017 (USA)