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Tuesday, December 06, 2005


This is the first Hong Kong musical in almost three decades, and is the country's Oscar representative. The four main cast members are from four different countries, Jacky Cheung (HK), Takeshi Kaneshiro (Taiwan, although you can put Japan in there if you want to), Zhou Xun (China), and Jin Ji Hee (Korea).

Summary of the story. A director (Jacky Cheung) is making a musical romance starring Kaneshiro and Zhou Xun's characters, and the movie within the movie happens to parallel with the lives of the director and actors. (It's a love triangle). Kaneshiro and Zhou Xun's characters were past lovers, reunited after a decade for the production of this film, to the consternation of the director. Jealousy and angst ensue. Jin Ji Hee plays the muse, cupid, narrator dude (um... think Antonio Banderas in Evita, someone who pops up from time to time, but really has nothing to do with the plot)

In my opinion, this is a pretty good film, no one can argue anything about the acting in it (although having Jin Ji Hee's voice dubbed into Chinese is... weird I was wrong, he DID speak in Chinese in the film), the scenery, my god, I wanted to go to Beijing immediately after seeing this film. However, this is NOT everybody's cup of tea. Despite being a musical, it is not fast-paced like Chicago or Moulin Rouge, in fact, I would say that it is something like a romantic drama with songs performed from time to time (kinda like, ah, Disney cartoons). The pacing of the film is languid and lingering, and I think that will most easily put people off. (there were a couple of people walking out during the premiere)

But if you are patient, and you can sit through the whole thing and marvel at the scenes unfolding before your eyes, I think you might enjoy it. But as I've said before, this is a DRAMA, not your typical madcap Hong Kong rom-com or actioner, so it's really not everyone's cup of tea.