Posted by: iamlillian | April 30, 2010


saw this newly released in Aus, Taiwan movie called “Monga” 艋舺 at Hoyts recently.

news: ” This Chinese Lunar New Year, Taiwan welcomes to theaters its latest gangster flick, starring pop idol, Ethan Ruan (阮經天), and actor, Mark Chao (趙又廷).

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The director, Niu Cheng-Ze (鈕承澤), also wrote the script of the movie produced by Li Lie (李烈). In addition to Ruan and Chao, veteran actor, Ma Ru-long (馬如龍), from “Cape No.7” and the lesser known, Rhydian Vaughan (鳳小岳) — rising star of 2008’s “Winds of September,” play significant roles in this local drama.

The name ‘Monga’ refers to today’s Wanhua District in Taipei (萬華區). Its name originates from the Austronesian word ‘bangca,’ meaning canoe.

For centuries Monga has been a trading town and the name came about due to early settlers traveling to market by canoe with their daily wares. The town was renamed under Japanese occupation to Wanhua, due to its similar sounding name.

The movie portrays a period in Taiwan’s history synonymous with the conflicts between rival gangs. This was especially prominent in Wanhua District, and despite the story being a work of fiction, it is filled with the memories of Niu’s youth.

Set in 1980s Taiwan, after the end of military dictatorship, “Monga” centers around five boys who join a gang because they are tired of being pushed about. As they relish their new social standing, they soon discover that being gangsters in ‘Monga’ comes at a price.

Other gangs have their hearts set on the thriving locale. Soon the boys’ world as they knew it is thrown upside down…

From the outset though, Li and Niu pulled all stops for the film, as they refused to believe “Taiwan is incapable of making an entertaining commercial movie. ”  – theChinapost


Personally i quite enjoyed the movie. It was a quite an action thriller + comedy drama. A good quality production and acting skills.

what i liked about the movie was the 1980 setting and the costumes. It’s similar to a Hong Kong gangsters movie. Typical gangster stories. There were many scenes of gangsters fighting with knives etc…quite brutal. But the storyline was quite moving as it potraited the growing friendships between the 5 boys who became ” brothers” 兄弟 which led to a meaningful ending with sadness. A mixture of Taiwan Ming Nang & Mandarin spoken throughout the movie with English subtitles.

One of the soundtracks of the movie is called “Tonight, tonight” which sounds quite nice, sung by the two main characters.

I also liked the classic songs played in the movie. One of them was “Making Love out of nothing at all” by Air Supply. The version sung in the movie was a revised cover sung by a chinese singer which sounded quite nice too. watch youtube.


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