Gatao, The Last Stray, follows a formula love story that revolves around a Gangster and common Photographer. Directed by Jui-Chih Chiang, the film is shot in Taiwan and follows the organized crime war in the region while focusing on the hazards of falling in love with a gangster. Thematically, it doesn’t explore any new territory but holds some essence that might interest Asian fans.
‘Gatao The Last Stray’ Summary
A mobster, Lin Yu Qing (Rexen Cheng), meets a wedding photographer Xiao Qi (Nikki Hsieh), who arrives at the banquet of Gao Guo Ren’s newly born daughter. Ren is Qing’s gang leader, and together they rule the North District area of the town. The other parts of the town are ruled by other gang lords who live in harmony and follow a code of conduct.
The leader of the south district, President Bar, had stepped down, and his gang’s functioning was supervised by his cunning son-in-law, Skai (Chien Sheng). Skai was envious of Ren because the north district was giving way more profit than his south pit. For the same reason, Skai tried to argue with the other gang leaders and his father-in-law, but everyone ignored his appeal.
Skai decided to take revenge on Ren and his gang, which included Qing. Skai orchestrated a drug syndicate in Ren’s north district to highlight suspicious activity and lower his goodwill. In the meantime, Qing followed his love affair with Xiao Qi, but when Skai’s mobsters attacked Qing and injured Qi, he was forced to make a sacrifice.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Gatao The Last Stray’ Ending Explained
In a brutal gang attack, Skai’s thugs injured both Qing and Qi. Qi’s uncle, who was a police officer, requested Qing to stay away from her. A heartbroken, Qing didn’t even visit a bed-ridden Qi. He thought of eliminating the threat before mingling with Qi again.
Ren and his gang members capture one of Skai’s drug peddlers. Through him, they get the whereabouts of the secret lab that Skai was running. Unfortunately, Ren ordered his most trusted man, Qing, to finish the job. A change in Qing’s expression suggested that the job will end Skai and burn the bridge between him and Qi. Yet, he followed his boss’ orders for the safety of everyone.
Qing attacked Skai’s lab, but Skai managed to flee. His lab scientist, who used to cook drugs for him, killed him during a chase. In a flashback, we learn that Skai’s father-in-law President Bar orchestrated the whole stage to kill his son-in-law. Even if Qing hadn’t interrupted, the lab scientist would have finished the job. Symbolically, Qing wasted his sacrifice.
With police on the trail, Qing leaves Taiwan through waterways. In the last ending montage, we see Qing and Qi witnessing the same picture in her photo exhibition but at different times. They shared the same essence but weren’t able to hold each other. Qing left Qi like a shadow, silently. However, his impact was loudly visible.
Symbolisation of Shark
When Qi was in the hospital, Qing sent her a few pictures of the north district, which she clicked. At the back of one of the photographs, he had drawn a shark. The drawing was a reference to their conversation in the library. Qi stated that Qing is a personified version of Shark. Like Qing, a shark is always moving forward, even when it sleeps. From the day it was born to the day of its end. Qing lived his life like a shark, never sleeping and always moving.
It was a hint to Qi that Qing was moving forward, like his inherent nature. He is leaving behind the past, which is a consequence of always moving away. He wanted Qi to understand this and move on with her life too. Maybe, at some point, in a certain future, their paths will cross again.
Gatao The Last Stray is a 2021 Taiwanese Romantic Drama directed by Jui-Chih Chiang.