Perhaps Love 如果。爱
The first link is to the official website of the movie. It's a very beautiful site in terms of html graphics, like all "official webbies" of these days, all the flash and html funfare, very glamorous, very beautiful, but of not much use. The second link is to the so called "official webbie" in IMDb and the third is to the "official Chinese webbie" in SINA. I highly recommend the Chinese website as the saying goes, there's nothing such as piracy in China. You can find a whole lot more photos and downloads from the Chinese site.
I first heard about this movie in 8Days. The movie featured Takeshi Kaneshiro which was what got me interested. I scanned through the cast, Zhou Xun, Jacky Cheung, Ji Jin Hee, I thought that that was just another China film attempting to forge international ties with the other Eastern Asia countries. I don't really like the idea of multinational cooperation films cos of the language problem, most turn out to be overrated, but I got intrigued by this film because of Takeshi Kaneshiro.
A girl torn between two guys, the reviewer for 8Days gave a spoiler without warning by saying that "the choice is very obvious". I thought that that was a sign that this would be a simple love movie, with a happy ending, but I was pretty surprised that the film turned out to be darker than I imagined.
Next I came across this film in one of my favourite shops Popcornpop in Esplanade. I asked to see the poster for this film, wanting to purchase a big big picture of the shuai shuai Takeshi Kaneshiro to hang somewhere in my bedroom. The poster they brought in was the Taiwan version poster featuring Takeshi Kaneshiro and the back of Chinese actress Zhou Xun, Jacky Cheung was nowhere to be seen.
This was the poster they had. But I decided against buying it. Yes, the poster is nice, anything with snow as background is nice, anyone wearing red is nice, Takeshi Kaneshiro is shuai, but I thought that it was a pity that the poster only featured his side view and Zhou Xun only had her back and there was no other mention about anyone else, so I didn't want to waste the money. Besides, the director, Peter Chan, was from Hong Kong and this was mainly a mainland film so if I wanted to get the poster I should look at either the Hong Kong version or the China version, or the international version.
I did my homework and searched for other posters. And I must say that the other posters looked much nicer than the above one. hehehe~ Nicer as in it reflects the film better than the above one, but in terms of photographic and artistic value, yup, the above one is absolutely stunning.
I thought that this poster reflected the whole film better. After all the film was indeed touted as a movie musical extravaganza. Just that I thought that Takeshi Kaneshiro looked pretty nerdy in this poster and Zhou Xun and Jacky Cheung both too looked rather weird in that getup, only Ji Jin Hee looked somewhat decent, but I like the sets also featured in the poster. bah... You just can't please me.
This is my personal most favourite poster design, but I don't have a higher resolution version of this poster. I like black and white things, or in sepia cos I always feel that it's more romantic that way. Takeshi Kaneshiro also looks damn damn shuai in this poster. I just love his gaze... *swoon*
This is a tiny pic, but it's more fair to all the actors in this film. Especially underrated Ji Jin Hee.
Behind me watching this movie was a big conspiracy almost rendering me unable to watch this film. Behind the conspiracy was another conspiracy of mine, of vengence and vindictiveness, but luckily I overcame that. I like this group of people I went to watch movie with. We were so funny. Must go watch another something else the next time~
The main plot of the movie in the simplest simplest term is that boy loves girl, girl leaves boy, ends up with man, girl and boy meet again, girl torn between boy and man, her past and future. Girl wanted to be rich and famous and despised her past, she tried to find ways to forget about her past, she just wanted to move on in life, but the past kept returning to haunt. Boy was also tormented by his past, those images recurring, he started despising girl for leaving him, then he despised himself for loving girl despite her being so despicable. Man also had problems of his own, he had to come to terms with girl not loving him, him not able to produce films as he did before, him having to worry about budget, and all the other stuff in making that musical.
A little bit of spoiler, don't read this if you don't want to know what happened.
The reviewer did not actually get the ending right. This is after all an art house film open to different interpretations. You can still say that it's a happy ending, but the ending is not exactly that happy also. Everything is fraught with your own imaginations and open to different people's interretation. After all, the both of them were living their lives well enough.
I was very captivated by Zhou Xun. Thought that she was much better an actress than I thought previously.
There was a scene that struck me. In that scene Zhou Xun was wearing little to almost no make up at all, and although she didn't looks spectacular, she was still very good looking. This compared to Zhang Ziyi, I must say Zhang Ziyi really damn cmi sia. From 2046 and seeing the trailer of Memoirs of a Geisha, it's so obvious that even makeup cannot hide Zhang Ziyi's pimples, but Zhou Xun is a natural beauty.
And that guy...
In this film he takes on quite a number of images...
There is the über shuai Lin Jian Dong the Hong Kong movie star...
so shuai right?
need one more of this image... lol~
This one is a big one... ooh... I love his gaze, very intense very man very much making me melt.
Then there is this cute boyish lover guy. The character Lin Jian Dong was acting in that musical movie. Remember this is a movie in a movie movie... lol~ I like that cute page boy image. With that hat and those puppy dog eyes, he still looks like that guy I fell in love with in those 逃学威龙 series.
This is the nerdy dork of the Lin Jian Dong 10 years ago. The one who was called Lao Dong by the girl he so loved. There's still the aura around him that calls out shuai though~
The neurotic and emotionally strung up Lin Jian Dong who suffers from insomnia and goes to swim fully clothed everytime he can't sleep. I like men with issues. They are like lagi more shuai. In Lin Jian Dong's first appearance in the film, he was unshaven. I like unshaven guys, more manly and have this aura of troubleness. Did I just say I like men with issues? lol~
I didn't really like Jacky Cheung's character in this film, maybe cos of Takeshi's overpowering image. Usually I prefer the matured men, but maybe I really do prefer the men with issues rather than maturity, so it's Takeshi all the way for me. And Jacky Cheung is really over his prime already.
Ji Jin Hee, I don't really know him very well, but I thought he seemed very much understated. I didn't really think much of him, in fact I still don't have a very clear picture what he was supposed to be, but that's the art of art house flicks.
One thing I felt very much interested in the imagery of this film is the use of ice and snow. There are a couple of scenes of Lin Jian Dong and Sun Na lying on the ice or in the snow, then a couple more of them embracing in the snow. It's definitely very pretty and very poetic. And it's not just Lin Jian Dong and Sun Na, but also the characters they acted, Xiaoyi and her lover, both in the snow...
And not to forget the Taiwan poster, the one I have right up there, all embracing in the snow. I didn't really think much of the snow until one of the lines Lin Jian Dong said. "Today is 1998 June, it's snowing outside. I've become a movie star too. Hahaha..." I thought, maybe it wasn't really snowing but the snow we see is that the snow they had in their hearts and it was but an illusion.
This struck me even more when we see Lin Jian Dong and Sun Na in wanting to forget their past love, both seek solace in the hotel swimming pool.
Snow and ice are both forms of water.
The friends I went with to watch the film, one of them thought that the water scenes were cheesy and not very nice to watch, but I tought otherwise. Maybe I am a more emotional person, I see the meaning behind the use of water. maybe cos my element is also very much water so I truly appreciate and understand why it was used. When I'm down and upset, and I want to hide from people, I'd take a shower. In the shower, in the water, tears and water mix together and making me feel as though I hadn't cried at all. Maybe cos I too seek solace in water, that's why I saw the beauty in all the water scenes and the snow and ice ones too... maybe...
I told that guy, "It's because you haven't been in that sort of circumstance, haven't experienced it, that's why you cannot truly understand the beauty of a lot of things."
Sometimes, some things, you must have experience it for yourself to understand beauty. There was this line which Lin Jian Dong said that also struck a chord in me. He told Sun Na he hated sleeping cos everytime he slept he would dream of her leaving him and he really did not want to go through losing her every single night. I thought of my own sleeping problems and procrastination habits. Very very true.
For more pictures of the movie, can click here. I really must thank the Chinese for being so good pirates. My friend even managed to download the whole soundtrack to share. Yup, downloaded also from the Chinese. I also managed to download the trailer and lots of weird stuff. Totally amazing!
To end, I shall end with a couple of quotes, from the official webbie.
"忘记... 也许是一种幸福" Monty
"如果.爱 没有过去" Lin Jian Dong
"我应该忘了 我是谁" Sun Na
"男人 本该妒忌" Nie Wen