Starring: Jay Chou, Kwai Lun-mei, Anthony Wong, Alice Tzeng
This is the second really moving film I’ve seen this week. It’s one of those movies that really makes you think and feel. Plus, it’s got Jay Chou in it! He’s pretty awesome. And he said himself that he didn’t direct this, so ignore any misconceptions. And I have a girlcrush on the female lead because she’s cute/pretty, and a little odd.
Jay Chou plays Ye Xianglun, a transfer student to a school known for its music program. While being shown around campus, he hears a mysterious melody coming from an old piano room. When he investigates he finds Lu Xiaoyu (Kwai Lun-mei), a pretty girl who seems a little odd. He finds himself drawn to her, and whenever he asks her a question she always answers, “It’s a secret.” Misunderstandings ensue when Xiaoyu is caught kissing another girl, Qing Yi (Alice Tzeng), and Xiaoyu disappears. The truth of the matter is revealed, and Xianglun has to make it to the piano room before it’s demolished on graduation day.
Let me first start by saying that Anthony Wong makes for a hilarious father. Xianglun is the only child and lives alone with his father (it’s unclear where the mother is, though I think it’s implied that she died). Xianglun isn’t good at expressing his feelings, so his dad dances around him, singing and playing the guitar. It reminded me of my own dork of a father, and so I found that scene hilarious and touching.
I figured out what the “secret” was way too early in the film, but wasn’t exactly right. Still, when the movie starts showing scenes as they actually happened, it’s one of those “OH MY GOD, it all makes sense now!” moments. Little bits of the truth are revealed one at a time until you get the full blast toward the end.
This movie is surreal because of that secret element, but still also very “high school romance”. To give you a feel for what you’re going to experience, I’d say it’s like The Sixth Sense. Kwan Lun-mei is a good actress, and Jay isn’t bad himself (but you’d know that if you’ve seen Curse of the Golden Flower; if you haven’t seen it, please go and repent your sin!). The movie itself is very beautiful and obviously focuses on the mystery and magic of music. For that reason, it’s haunting. It does lag at times, though. Overall, a pretty solid film!