Sharon Wong Posted: DEC 8, 2005
Directed by Peter Chan
Starring Jacky Cheung, Zhou Xun, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Jin Jin-hee with special appearance by Eric Tsang and Sandra Ng
WHEN the hype about a movie becomes too intense, chances are there would be some disappointments because of high expectations. Perhaps Love found itself in such a situation recently.
The movie opened with grandeur and continued to mesmerise viewers with spectacular sets and no-holds-barred costumes. There were also circus performers, Broadway-style song-and-dance sequences, and a touching love triangle.
However, some people found it rather flat, unrealistic and even meaningless. Then there were those who sang praises of it, relating to the hard knocks of reality and the beauty of love lost and found. For what it’s worth, I think director Peter Chan has definitely achieved his goal of drawing attention to his movie if such heated debates are anything to go by.
Perhaps Love, a US$10 million (RM66,000,000) production shot in Beijing and Shanghai, is both a musical and a love story. Set in a movie-within-a-movie style, it features a love triangle plot that parallels the actors’ lives. Jealousy, hatred and passion are punctuated by flamboyant songs and dances that tell the same story on screen. And flirting through events, linking them together in a fluid flow is Montage (Ji Jin-hee), a muse. You might find his presence — as different characters in different situations — a little amusing. Yet somehow, the movie would be incomplete without him.
The movie begins with a new musical helmed by renowned director Nie Wen (Jacky Cheung) bringing together two of the hottest stars of the times, Sun Na (Zhou Xun) and Lin Jian Dong (Takeshi Kaneshiro). Sun is to portray a girl who meets a circus owner after losing her memory and they eventually fall in love. But then her former lover appears and becomes the third party in the triangle. Little does Nie know how close his movie is to the real lives of his co-stars. Lin and Sun were lovers 10 years ago until Sun’s ambition and desire for fame caused her to abandon her love for greener pastures.
Today, Lin is still obsessed with her and is torn by feelings of love and jealousy and a desire for revenge. Takeshi’s portrayal of Lin’s pain is pointed.
Initially, Jacky Cheung’s character as the rather broody director doesn’t seem to carry much weight but towards the end, he manages to garner much sympathy as he discovers his love’s betrayal, which leads to one of the most spectacular scenes of the movie.
Zhou Xun, for all her beauty, is definitely the villain here and fingers wag at her ruthlessness, forgetting that she was also a victim in the past.
A mention must also be made of the special appearance by Eric Tsang as the musical’s backer and Sandra Ng as Takeshi’s agent, who are like a breath of fresh air every time they appear.
And as the movie weaves through past and present, real and celluloid, you marvel at how well everything gels together. The fusion and the flashbacks are smoothens the journey into a wonderfully different world that is Perhaps Love.