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如果愛 (2005)
Perhaps Love

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 10/12/2008
Summary: That's not dancin'

“Perhaps Love” is an affecting story of love, loss and betrayal wrapped in the musical with mediocre songs and ghastly choreography. It is structured as a movie about making a movie with a straightforward narrative line and flashbacks that occur when the characters watch daily rushes of themselves in a screening room. Sometimes we see footage shot earlier in the day, sometimes scenes from a movie from years before with the same actors and characters and occasionally we see them in “real life”—not as actors in a movie playing characters but as the characters themselves.

Kaneshiro Takeshi and Zhou Xun are both effective and beautiful, Jacky Cheung has an appropriate look of wasted desperation and Ji Jin-Hee is detached as the ironically amused observer. The songs are neither good nor bad—which in a musical or at least a movie that depends on music to make points and move the plot along is a disaster. None of them take off, there are no catch melodies to hum, no soaring lines. However it is the choreography and the way that it is shot and edited that really sinks this movie. Since it was photographed by two princes of the camera, Peter Pau and Christopher Doyle one must assume that the instructions were “put the camera here, use this lens, point it that way” since that is how the dances were filmed. A fixed camera that just pans to keep the dancer in the center of the frame works for capturing Fred Astaire—he insisted on it and revolutionized how dance was shown in movies—but not for the all-singing, all-dancing crowds of chorus girls and boys that was used here. Looking at the work of any successful director of movie musicals from Busby Berkley to Baz Luhrmann one will see a moving camera, multiple angles edited together, zooms, tracking shots, crane shots—all done in an attempt to show a three dimensional art form in the two dimensions of the screen.

And one will also see actual choreography. The movement in the dance numbers in “Perhaps Love” was located almost entirely in the torso and pelvis with some very lame hand movement and a few head snaps. This is fine as part of an integrated whole—Bob Fosse, one of the most talented and honored movie and stage choreographers ever had signature moves that were not completely unlike what we saw in this movie. But he would never make an entire dance, and certainly not every dance, from these moves alone. No competent creator of dance would do so. Since there is not choreography credit here—there is only “dance instructor” which I assume is the equivalent of dance captain—so we don’t know who to blame for this mess.

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 02/06/2006

I thought this film could have been so much more! What a waste of creative talent!

The story was shallow and self-indulgent, and what little authentic emotions the screenplay did manage to create were completely destroyed by those awful awful awful musical numbers.

I guess the filmakers thought making a musical was creative enough in itself and they wouldn't have to worry about the rest of the film being creative. That may have worked if only the musical numbers had had at least a spark of originality. Instead, they felt like rejects from a bad Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Any run of the mill Bollywood film does a better job (then again, they've had years of practice...)

The cinematography is beautiful, there are a few clever or touching moments here and there, and Zhou Xun is stunning as usual, but her efforts are wasted.

Not recommended.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: evirei
Date: 12/21/2005
Summary: Perhaps Love, Perhaps The Best

Perhaps Love, hemm I still prefer the mandarin title... Ru Guo Ai. Hem... each time I mention this title, it just kept me thinking and wonder deep in to my heart and brain. It's always this "perhaps" or "maybe" that makes our heart uneasy because we will never find out the answer to it because it will always remains as a "maybe".

As it has been highly promoted as a musical show, it is quite worth to watch the show, especially if you have missed out Cheung's Snow Wolf Lake Theather. The movie started of very well in explaining what this story is about. Yes, in order to understand and find the answer to the ending of the story, one must really understand what the opening scenes is about. Well, without me mentioning, understanding what is being said and sang is equally important. My personal advice, if you weren't really good in understanding mandarin, please please do get a DVD or what so ever which you could always replay. Coz, it's really difficult to look at the sub-titles without missing out the beautifully crafted cinematography and the attention to details in the movie.

From the start till the end, the director never fails to bring u this Asian version of Moulin Rouge feel. Yes, it has this strong "chinese" feel to it. However, some famous classical broadway stuffs manage to slip into the show. I feel some part of the opening scene reminded me of Mary Poppins... yes.. how can I forget Mary and her umbrella. Hahaha. takeshi's look and feel reminded me of Oliver Twist... hemmm... maybe I'm just over sensitive.

The movie is basically a story about the narrator, being someone who loves to keep deleted scenes in one's life and returning those deleted scenes to the people, when they need it. Yes, this time.. to a movie set where there is this love triangle happening. Ermm between Sun Na... a beautiful and currently a famous actress, Nie Wen a famous and arty director (have similar qualities to Wong Kar Wai) and Jian Dong a famous Hong Kong actor.

I seriously does love how in this movie, it shows the spirit of you gotta have and give up lots of things to make your dreams come true, however it leaves this big painful scar to see how Sun Na have to go through in her life to get what she wants. It's really painful when your ambition and desire is greater than what you can handle.

Yes... it's hard to put in words what happen in the show... coz hemmm it's a musical show.. Haha, and guess what, in this show, when the actor or actress dunno how to express themselves, they start to sing. I dun think I want to sing out what I couldn't express about this show in words here. Haha... but the main point.. I didn't want to tell anything about the storyline coz it'll spoil the whole watching experience. Well, you guys should know by now love triangles are constantly interesting.

I can assure you this is something different. The cleverly twist and turn plots and unexpected ending surely does stunt you. Well, I would say it's like a good bottle of wine. It gives you this nice aftertaste and kept you thinking and wanting more. I left the cinema with an uneasy heart. Perhaps Love, Perhaps ME, Perhaps it never should have happen.

Verdict: A cool movie that is not to be missed. Yes, what more can you ask for? Beautiful chick, handsome romeo (total pleasant to the eyes), nice music and song (total pleasant to the ears), nicely done set and outfit and best of all a good storyline that kept your mind working. Wonder when will Cheung bring this thing to theathers and do it as big as Snow Wolf Lake?

Reviewer Score: 9