Though I’ve not been in Hong Kong since November of 2013, I try to keep abreast of the best films coming out of Hong Kong. Released back just last November 8th, Gangster Payday stars the long time popular Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong as a mobster/hoodlum and co-stars Charlene Choi as the proprietress of a Hong Kong tea shop.
Wong, who is called Brother Ghost in the film, plays an old school triad gang leader, he’s got his own crew, and he’s got some massage parlors and karaoke bars in his portfolio. He’s also the owner (landlord) of the building that houses the tea shop owned by Mei (Charlene Choi).
Now Brother Ghost wants to step away from the dirty crimes and rackets of loan sharking and prostitution and wants nothing to do with the drug trade. He wants to be legit – or said in other words – he wants to go straight.
But getting out is even harder than getting in. A rival gang leader has stepped into the real estate development business, which seems honest on the surface. But the reality is that they put the muscle on the neighborhood Mom and Pop stores and shops, eventually forcing them to sell or go out of business. Then they step in and buy out the businesses for a fraction of their worth and sell the same properties off to the big developers at huge profits.
Now Brother Ghost has taken a shine to the young Mei. She’s basically inherited the tea shop business and is still learning the ropes, but she is willing to work hard. While Ghost is making it clear to Mei that he is willing to help her fend off the developer who is putting the pressure on her, he also wants to have a relationship with her.
But Mei has taken a shine to Leung who is one of Ghost’s young lieutenants.
So there’s both halves of your story – two men who want the same woman, and all trying to fend off the shark-like real estate developer.