Director: Peter Chan
Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhou Xun, Jacky Cheung, Ji Jin-Hee
It was the closing film at Venice Film Festival
It is Hong Kongs submission to Oscar 2006
The official website
The film is a movie within a movie, relating a triangular love that parallels the actors real lives
-- The two main leads (Takeshi Kaneshiro and Zhou Xun) are excellent
e.g., the teardrop by Takeshi Kaneshiro in the pool wow, tearing in water!
(NOTEWORTHY: it is not computer generated it is real!)
e.g., the teardrop by Zhou Xun from the swing near the end it dropped directly onto the middle of the camera
(NOTEWORTHY: again, it is not computer generated )
there are other memorable scenes
e.g., when Takeshi Kaneshiro and Zhou Xun are on the swing
e.g., when Zhou Xun and Jacky Cheung are on the swing
e.g., when Jacky discovers the forbidden love
e.g., when Zhou listens to the tape
-- In terms of story telling, the opening sequence does a good job in introducing what the film is about life is real but life is also a stage despite the rather simple plot, the film does bring out the complexity of love what exactly is love however, this very factor may make some audience frown and fail to comprehend every single action/behavior of the three main characters (does he really love her or does she really love him or what ) but if you ponder properly, the feeling of love (and hate) is often complex is love worth remembering? is love worth waiting for? should love change over time? ... etc
-- Technically, the art direction is commendable and the transition in and out of movie within movie is well edited some of the snow scene is nice and the costumes are great too
What could be better
-- Unfortunately (since it is marketed as a musical), I have to admit that I only like 2 out of the many songs so forgive me, I feel that the composer and lyricist could have provided more variations/dramatic mood to the songs/music instead, all the songs sound too similar in terms of tune and melody (maybe because the composer wanted a more consistent mood?!) as of now, the tune/melody are simply NOT captivating and catchy enough (like the Phantom of the Opera) so that audience will be immediately drawn in audio-ly nonetheless, I do qualify that the liking of songs/music can be personal and subjective Overall, I still commend all the three lead for singing their own songs!
Recommended esp. for casting/acting ... however, I would rather not sell it as a musical but a story about love and life quite humbly, I do wonder if the film would be even more captivating (and better paced) if it were told without the characters singing (but with many background theme songs instead)
as to how the film will fare, whether the audience buy the feelings/longing of the characters is key ... if you feel for the characters, you will think it is very excellent ... if you don't feel for them, then you will think the pacing can pick up a bit ...