Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Au Revoir Taipei Review (2010)

Drama Rating: ****
Personal Rating: Enjoyable

Kai, a lovesick young man, is contemplating flying over to Paris to join his girlfriend. He goes to the bookstore everyday to try to learn French in the hope of flying over to France one day to reunite with her. In doing so, he's caught the interest of Susie, the girl who works at the bookstore. Then one day, he decides in the spur of the moment to fly to Paris and gets a ticket for the following day. Little does he know, the course of that night's events would change his life.

*Spoiler warning*

A light, humorous story that transports you to the surreal world of night markets, local gangsters, and cops on stakeout, this movie achieves its goal of telling a very simple love story in a unique, entertaining manner. The storyline itself is rather simple and yet simplicity sometimes can be the best way to tell the tale. Interesting local oddities such as the gangsters and night markets injected into the story give the story flavor and character.

Jack Yao does reasonably well as the protagonist Kai. His character's shyness and hesitation makes him a little dull at times to watch but acting-wise, it wasn't much of a challenge. Amber Kuo plays a relatively more inquisitive and confident Susie whose character's presence makes you feel in control and at ease. The two main characters do sometimes come across as a bit bland and unexceptional, unlike the more typical alpha-type drama/movie leads, although understandably, this constitutes part of the movie's appeal.

For a director's movie debut, the music was certainly not bad but it could have used a bit more variety and depth. Generally, the musical feel certainly fits the movie's ambiance with its soft Parisian cafe-like quality, almost like Amelie, and works well with the various settings around Taipei. However, a little variety might have spruced up the movie a bit as it feels like the entire movie is stuck in an infinite loop.

This was a very interesting movie as it offered a very different and fresh take on the romantic comedy, contrasting with the standard movie fare. Plenty of artistic license was taken to tell the story and I quite liked the easygoing, laid-back mood generated by the script, the characters and the music. This was definitely a solid movie for any director's debut and I look forward to seeing how his work/art matures.

No comments:

Post a Comment