Michael Wong, director of The Story of 90 Coins, dropped us an email to ask if we’d be interested in reviewing his short film. You can see the film for yourselves below, personally, I’m glad he sent it.
The Story of 90 Coins follows Dongjun Han as he tries to win over the love of his life, Zhuang Zhiqi, in 90 days.
Zhiqi isn’t quite sure what she wants. She has a burgeoning fashion career and is asked to go to Paris by Jose Acosta. Han is jealous of the relationship Acosta and Zhiqi appear to have.
To prove his love, Han gives Zhiqi a coin a day for 90 days at the end of each of their dates. At the end of the 90 days, if she is in love with him, they can use the money for their marriage certificate.
If she isn’t, they will go to the bar they first met, buy some drinks and toast their farewell.
Obviously, director Michael Wong could have no idea just how close to the bone this film is for me on a personal level. I’ve been through something similar myself, proving to someone that you love them, that feeling not being reciprocated as it appears they’re attention is elsewhere.
Wong and writer Bai Xuedan have captured this wonderfully, and painfully, in just 10 minutes with The Story of 90 Coins.
It’s beautifully shot and had me conflicted in which of the two sides I felt sorry for the most. Han has no basis for thinking Zhiqi is being unfaithful to him, but acts like she is.
Zhiqi isn’t being clear with Han about her feelings, she isn’t being straight with him about Paris, or her feelings for him.
Neither approaches are helping each other, or themselves.
At the end, just before Zhiqi leaves for Paris, she knocks the tin, she’s kept the coins in, to the floor. One of the envelopes Han has wrapped each and every coin in opens to reveal a note.
Zhiqi hadn’t known they were in there and she proceeds to read through them, realising what she’s missed.
The Story of 90 Coins thus becomes a visual representation of the old adage ‘you don’t know what you’ve got, till it’s gone’.
The Story of 90 Coins is a beautiful, very well made short film. I look forward to seeing more from both writer and director.