I remember one instance when Ho Yuhang recalled I-Lann asking him this question when they were to shoot “Rain Dogs”: “What is the emotional colour of the film?” to which Yuhang scratched his head and said, “Yellow?”. Something like this if I remember correctly. According to the Wikipedia, “Yellow can represent light and the sun’s rays. It can also be a sign of cowardice.”
According to another Wiki entry for an album by Tom Waits with similar name, “Rain Dogs” are dogs which become lost because the rain has washed away their scent. Tom Waits has compared these dogs to homeless people, drunks, etc.
As for the Chinese title, “Tai Yang Yu” (lit. Sun Rain), when we get wet in the rain that falls in broad sunlight, my mother always say that it will make us fall sick.
All the above are what I felt after watching “Rain Dogs” (although Yuhang will laugh it off characteristically).
I think it is an excellent film. The characters are multi-layered, each character suggests a story behind them but Yuhang revealed enough to get you notice the depth of the character but is restrained enough to not to reveal too much so that the yearning to know remains (or maybe he can do follow up movies for his characters later).
Liu Wai Hung (we know him better as Ah “Chan”) is just great in the movie as well as our dear Yasmin Ahmad.
The music is superb, particularly the choice of the theme song, Odetta’s “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child”. The cinematography is very good and proves that HD can do a marvellous job.
The final static scene will remind you of Abbas Kiarostami, long camera shots observing something that is happening far away, as if we are merely an observer and the story of the characters in the movie has nothing to do with us. In this case, we will see a static shot of a tree against the backdrop of the sky with a rainbow across it and some birds flying past accompanied by Odetta’s sometimes haunting song with just enough time for you to reflect on the story and the characters. While Truffaut’s Antoine Doinel shocks you by looking at you in the eye at the end of “Les Quatre cents coups”, Yuhang does the opposite but achieves the same effect. Perfect ending.
Oh, and I wonder if anyone else felt the same, I somehow felt that the main character (Kuan Choon Wai) in the movie is like Leslie Cheung’s character in “Days of Being Wild” and the similarities that “Rain Dogs” has with “Days of Being Wild” do not only end there but also the basic structure of the movie as well as the narative style. Only thing is that Kuan is still a kid but Leslie is merely a bigger kid. Kuan’s character may one day grow into Leslie Cheung’s character.
“Rain Dogs” is really a profound film and for anyone who appreciates good cinema, go and get your tickets, sit back, relax and enjoy :)