• Charlie Vogelsang

Anita (2021) Review


Showing at Focus Hong Kong’s Making Waves film festival, Anita is a biography film depicting the life of the iconic Anita Mui from childhood until her untimely death at the age of 40.


Anita Mui is a household name in Hong Kong and a true icon of the screen. Throughout her career, she was known as the ‘Madonna of the East’ and was a Hong Kong singer and actress remaining in the spotlight for 21 years. Co-writer and director Longman Leung decided it was time to pay homage to the legendary star with the biography film Anita (2021).


Like most biopics, Anita starts off with the star (played by model Louise Wong in her film debut) getting ready to perform on stage for the last time. It’s a heartbreaking moment where she tries to hold it together while knowing that this will be her final performance. The concert hall is absolutely bursting with fans and just before the concert starts, the film jumps back in time to tell the story of her life - starting with six-year old Anita in 1969.

Leung definitely shows how to successfully do a biopic that is both classy and tasteful

We are given a very vibrant view of Hong Kong as we meet Anita and her sister getting ready to perform - showing that even early in Anita’s life she was destined for stardom while also showing the tender bond between the sisters. Not long into this blast from the past, we are taken to 1982 with the siblings much older and starring at a variety of musical venues.


Throughout the rest of the film, Anita is faced with many obstacles that she must overcome, but constantly faces them head-on with determination and grace. Wong is absolutely mesmerising as Anita and captures her spirit wonderfully.

The movie also looks fantastic, with almost all shots elegantly framing the scene, which is helped by the incredible costume and set design. Anita definitely sets the atmosphere perfectly and makes it feel as if the audience is being taken on this journey with the titular character. There are even clips of Anita Mui in real life used throughout, which is a sweet homage to her truly unique talent.


Leung definitely shows how to successfully do a biopic that is both classy and tasteful. There are some things missed in the film, but it doesn’t hinder the experience too much. Ultimately, this almost feels like a love letter to many great stars of Hong Kong stage and screen - which will absolutely delight fans.


8/10


Anita is showcasing at Focus Hong Kong's Making Waves on Friday the 8th July at 7:00pm in the Soho Hotel in London. Buy tickets here