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Written by Funn Lim


This review was posted many years ago, exactly when I am not sure but it should be within months from the original broadcast of this series. I am posting it as I have posted it originally.


SPOILERS ... SPOILERS ... SPOILERS



Who
Regulars such as Bobby Au Yeung,Michael Dao,William So,Chan Sau Man(for I-IV) ,Astrid Chan,Kwok Ming Fai, Jessicca, Bowie, Flora Chan(for V) and plenty of others I can’t remember. Was Sammi Cheng in first part?I can’t remember frankly.

What & Where
Dramas about the legal profession and the yuppie lawyers that work in the profession and their lives, personal and very little professionally. And also investigation scenes with police. Set in modern times, HK. This was produced by the same producers of Healing Hands, so you will probably see some familiar format here.

The storyline
For Part I-IV,it’s like an ultra long introduction into the yuppie lawyers’ lives. Bobby was at the prosecution side until he set out with William So, Michael Dao(not a lawyer but a legal assistant) and set up a firm of their own. They get many many cases, some affecting their own circle of friends and family. Chan Sau Man (who in part V was replaced by Kwok Ming Fai,the woman who played Kuan Yin in JTTW II) is a very high ranking prosecuting officer,who in later will marry Bobby.But of course that didn’t happen in Part I. And you may ask, what about the plot? No plot really. Moreover, yours truly can’t remember much. Don’t forget, Michael was second liner in this serials, so you can guess like how long ago this was.

A Lesson About Love
Yup, this show could be a lesson in love. Well, for eg, we see a progression of a relationship that we would never see in other serials simply because this has like 5 parts to it. Such would be a description of Bobby and Chan Sau Man. Well, they were colleagues, he liked the girl but the girl was having an affair with big boss. But he wooed her succesfully. (Part I).Then they almost broke up ,patched things up.(Part II).Then they lived in together. (Part III).And they married can’t remember), almost broke up when she found out he was having a fling with her friend, Tang Shui Man(Part IV).And what about Part V?I didn’t watch it all but I do know,the Chan Sau Man’s character disappeared half way through,and he was like really attracted to Ada. Talk about consistency.

And also Michael Dao. Well,he was like in love with a lesbian in Part I,who returned his love only to die,then he was in love with lesbian's twin sister in Part II and frankly, I can’t remember the rest. Then in Part V, there was Jessicca and Flora.

A Lesson About Friendship
As I have always said, TVB may not be good with the technical stuffs but when it comes to friendship storyline, they are the experts here. Just like in Burning Flame,you can feel their chemistry together,especially the guys here like Michael,William and Bobby.Funny and fun loving gang.You will laugh and cry with them.And they never shout at each other,a very civilised gang here.Like Healing Hands,always supportive.

The Usual Suspects
Well,there are killers and victims, chop, slashed, strangled, raped, murdered, poisoned, you name it they’ve got it.Coz after all,it’s five installments here.Anyway,usually you would hate the killers but more often than not,you will pity the defendants here coz after all,you can’t have Bobby defending a guilty defendant here. Anyway,they killed for reasons that I would say, I would too do the same as they did.Judge for yourself.

Most Memorable Bits
I would love to say it was those court room scenes,where there was trial and all.Or the love relationship stories or the investigative process.But in all my conscience,I can’t just lie.What is great about this serial isn’t the technical stuffs,as I have mentioned above.In fact,they did not do a very good job with those trial scenes.Too fake,too emotional and nobody objects to witness badgerring!!!Not good at all.But I would certainly say what reigns supreme here is the scenes where they all sit together ,usually in a pub like in Healing Hands and just chat.Fun stuff.You can see that they’re really having fun and it’s just so funny.Especially Bobby,Michael and William.They just shine when they’re together and you would just wish they would do a sitcom like Friends and have them sit around and just chat and have fun and let us laugh at their antics,expressions and behaviour.

Confusing Stuffs
Bowie Lam.As I write this review and kind of have a Back to the Past voyage of watching this serials long long time ago,I kinda remember Bowie was in Part I or II and he was a Prosecuting Officer,very good at his job and has no conscience but nonetheless,still a good guy.Then in Part V,Bowie again only this time he’s a mad villain who killed people that we knew in Part V like Flora Chan with a hand held Torpedo gun.Different characters here so do not be confused.Or most probably you can’t even remember by the time you reached Part V.Anyway,Bowie is really versatile.Bad guy/Good guy/mean guy/nice guy/jerk,anything you can name he can do it.Maybe all except being a woman.

Is It Worth Renting
Yes,but please do not place too much hope in having great great trial scenes. If that is so,go watch something else.

But WHICH One
Oh ya,which one.An all important question when lazy Reviewer like me do a five in one review here.Well,in Part I,you’ll learn to like the characters and by the time you reached Part V,they’re all too familiar,like part of our lives.Many had complained about Part V,didn’t like it at all coz changed in format so if my advice is of any value here,go for Part I to IV.But of course don’t go like Part V to Part I.You gotta follow the numbers here.

Is is BETTER than…
Other serials that have lawyers in them?Well,this one has legal profession as their main focus here.Healing Hands ?Different concept but same format.Frankly,I enjoyed Files of Justice more,less pretentious here. But for great trial scenes,gritty dramas,great great storyline with excellent angst kind of acting with a darker tone,go for those American productions such as Law And Order,The Practice and Murder One.They ‘re superior in every other sense .Almost too true and very controversial which will have you debating the verdicts.But for something easy,something not to taxing to your mental capabilities,this serial is a definate must watch for you.Frankly,I’ll watch all of them.Somehow,the medical and legal profession makes great subject matter.But as we have now seen the HK version,Taiwan version,Japanese version,Singapore’s version and the American version,they all talk about the same thing but somehow,focus is different.So not every medical/legal profession show is the same.

Interesting Facts
Yup,plenty.Part I was like a small small production,that TVB never put any hope nor much publicity in it.In fact,it was just a production to fill in the extra time slot,unlike Threshold Of An Era or even Healing Hands.So that was why you see not so well known actors and actresses in Part I.But of course you would say they’re all famous.Well,they’re famous because of Part I.It was a new type of serial,slicker,more class,even the coats they’re wearing must be better cut.It set a standard for Healing Hands.And it became such a big hit,Michael Dao,Bobby,Chan Sau Man and William So became household names.But in Part V,it changed.The concept was the same but the format changed in the sense bigger budget,more well known actors and actresses,more and longer storylines.And that was the flaw.Many didn’t enjoy Part V.And you may ask why?The great thing about Part I –Iv is that it’s such a small budget serials,that they made it up with charm.Yes,charming serials is how I would put it.Part V,all the charm gone.Replaced in its place is a sense of tiredness,boringness,so that was why it wasn’t such a huge success unlike its predecessors.
For a review of the hit medical drama Healing Hands,please click the title to beam yourself there.

And another thing.Those not familiar with the legal profession,you may notice that in all Parts,you would see a statute on top of the court’s building in the beginning of each tape in the music segment.The woman was holding a sword and another like a balancing weight thing and her eyes was blindfolded.Now you may wonder,what does it all mean?What does it symbolise?Unlike popular beliefs by those who were either trying to be funny or was disillusioned,the sword does not represent the professions greedy nature of charging expensive fees and the blindfold does not represent that the law has no eyes to see the world of legal state today and that there is no justice at all.In fact,it really represent,the sword and all the notion of JUSTICE.Meaning,enforcement of justive,all are equal and that’s why the blindfold,JUSTICE IS BLIND.Meaning all of us are equal before the Law and the courts,be it you’re rich or poor,or of any economic or social status,you’re subjected to the Law and the Law will also protect the innocent.But then,what if you’re a king?The statute is an idealistic representaion of the Law but of course reality is plenty of people who does not have access to such justice be it lack of time,money , freedom or legal technicalities as witnessed in American Productions.Sad.

Interesting Fiction
For one,they are too free.Reminds me of Flora Chan’s character in Untraceable Evidence.Of course lawyers do hang out in pubs but they looked way too rich,Contrary to popular beliefs,there are poor lawyers out there.Their monetary standing does not represent their expertise of course.Anyway,their tables,too files free.Of course the books are there,but somehow,something’s not right.They’re just too free.And the trials scenes,too fast.Way too fast,like in one day and verdict.No detals of technical stuffs like evidence at all.So not that accurate potrayal of the legal profession.

Could be interesting fact here,I dunno.It depends.But you would notice,comparing this serials with like the American productions on the legal profession,the Hk one represents the ideal attitude towards the profession.No foul play,back door dealings,in fact too white washed.I do know the legal world is complicated but maybe not too complicated but definitely not that easy going as in the HK prodcutions.But it does show lawyers in a good light,unlike some others where you’ll gladly curse the lawyer.Here,they’re shown as hard working,dedicated,honest and compassionate lawyers.Maybe the legal profession needs such a good image after all the bad press .Just to tell you,lawyers aren’t all blood sucking liars.Maybe the profession should thank TVB script writers.


2 comments:

  1. Funn!! Been reading your more recent posts on JayneStars.... so glad to find your proper blog :)

    Fabulous quips and sarcastic tones - love it!
    keep it up! :)

    Btw - I very much agree - the best thing about Files of Justice is the chemistry the main male leads share; esp living in the same house; and in all those restaurants/pubs etc. It very much reminds me again and again of the same vibe I have with my buddies when we're out :)

    I'm quite interested in the pubs/restaurants they shoot their scenes in.
    I'm puzzled by why, for example, the 'bull & bear' bar is so popular despite being in such a seedy place in HK? Did you pick up any other pub names etc?


    (I post as Dr. M on JayneStars)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! Thanks for dropping by.

    This review - so so so long ago, frankly I really can't remember.

    ReplyDelete

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