Most filmmakers use sizzle reels to showcase their strengths and skills, but in the case of Michael Wong, he can simply use his short film The Story of 90 Coins to do the same thing.
The Story of 90 Coins is a sweet and sappy short with all the fixins. It’s shot very well, the music is evocative, and leading actors Han Dongjun and Zhuang Zhiqi are commendable as a comforting couple who are going through the motions of a relationship. The premise involving the title coins is pitched with a degree of saccharine from director Wong and a screenplay by Gao Xiaofei as the audience is led through a romance using different tokens. However, this storytelling device works for The Story of 90 Coins because of how it sustains our affection.
I really wish The Story of 90 Coins didn’t cover so much ground though. Michael Wong packs so much story and conflict in his nine-minute short film that it feels as if the audience is watching a trailer for a longer movie. A short timeline for a short film keeps everything grounded. If a filmmaker pushes their luck, they risk undercooking portions of their movie; such is the case for a boyfriend detour in The Story of 90 Coins.
It’s been proven that The Story of 90 Coins is a solid short. It has multiple, deserved wins under its belt. However, for his next film, Michael Wong shouldn’t bite off more can chew.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie