Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hua chi liao na nu hai (Candy Rain)

The movie is strange to say the least as mixes a lot of styles that go from traditional camera to very experimental-pop-MTV alike camera takes and even if director Hung-i Chen (better known for his great experimental advertisements) tries to weave his four stories and different styles into one film, I believe that he does not succeed in creating anything related to art and becomes only an annoying changing of styles that if it wasn’t because the stories I would have stopped watching.

I'm sure that because the four stories are based on true stories from Hung-i Chen lesbian friends, all really got my attention and was able to forget the images that were trying too hard to be arty or pop or MTV alike or experimental or whatever!

The first story tells about small-town Jessie that after broken up with her boyfriend and quarreled with her family decides to go to Taipei to live with Pon who had a secret crush on Jessie in high school. This is a sweet puppy-love tale that faces the everyday life little (and/or big) nuances and two girls not really prepared to live together, but perhaps in the end they find the way. This is a nice story that stops and you do not know what really happened, but the real end is at the very end of the movie. The segment is called "If the Southlands were Frozen", don't really know why.

The second story has a more modern style with an aesthetic that plays with black and white and tells about 25-year-old U, an OCD-suffering chef that has been looking for the ideal love online. She meets glamorous and assertive editor Lin an older woman that totally lied in her Internet profile and even if U tries to like Lin, they’re better off apart. I liked this segment mainly because of the cinematography, sets and the total style; the story is acceptable and somehow seems very close to reality. Also liked a lot the segment title: “City under Invisible Attack”.

The third story is about lovers Spancer and Summer, who agree to separate for 10 years while Summer fulfills her societal responsibility: namely to get married and have babies. This is the best story and the strongest in every sense, so I wont tell you much about it as it’s worth seeing even if the end leaves many open questions. Definitively liked the story and here the movie style is a little bit more traditional. This segment has a puzzling name: "Dreaming The Opposite Dream".

The fourth story is the Chinese version of Shane (I had to write this lol!). Well not totally as here there is some (faux) violence involved that has an anime style in the screen. Have to admit that I liked this segment as made me laugh and definitively Ricky behaves like a funny lothario that’s getting always into trouble with all the girls. The segment has a crazy name: "The Flowers ate the Girl".

The movie ends with some words that explain each of the segments, words that stayed in my mind and I reproduce here:

Some people are happy together (Pon and Jessie)
Some people are happier when they are not together. (U and Lin)
Some people are unhappy because they can’t be together. (Spancer and Summer)
And some will never be happy even if they’re together. (Ricky et all)

Performances range between passable to engaging but what absolutely tests your patience is the movie style; still music score is interesting, some scenes are quite impressive and most of all, the stories could hit home for many as have something in common: all show the not pretty side of relationships. (By not pretty I mean reality more than romance or fiction).

To my known readers I have to tell them that I doubt many could stand the movie style as it can become annoying, but I suggest to give it a try as not very often we can see not pretty situations in films. To all that like the lesbian interest genre I suggest to give a try especially if you’re young or young at heart, as you probably will like the stories and some of the many styles the movie has.


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