Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Finally, I watched the much talked about new Taiwanese film "Eternal Summer (盛夏光年)" (Taiwan 2006, 95 min., shown at Frameline 31).
Yu Shou-heng (余守恒) is a hyper active boy who always caused trouble. His teacher pairs him with Kang Zheng-xing (康正行) hoping that he will get some positive influence from Kang Zheng-xing. They grow up together as best friends like shadow to each other, all the way through high school and into college. Gradually, Kang Zheng-xing's feeling for Yu Shou-heng goes beyond friendship, he has to hide his crush toward Yu Shou-heng. Meanwhile, Yu Shou-heng keeps his secret from Kang Zheng-xing as well for dating Hui-jia (惠嘉), a girl who used to date Kang Zheng-xing.
Confused with who is whom? Indeed. I had a hard time to remember who is Yu Shou-heng and who is Kang Zheng-xing when I was watching the film. The actors even sound similar so when a name is called, I don't even know who is calling whom. I would definitely change their names if I first read the script.
I believe many people, including myself, can identify with Kang Zheng-xing. We all fall in love with somebody at some point that we know we shouldn't. That hurts, a lot. But we can't do anything about it, except to endure the emotional torture of longing and disappointing.
However, the real weakest link of this film is the plot. I think some changes in the adaptation from the original novel contribute to the flaws in the story and these characters.
"Eternal Summer" is directed and produced by a young Taiwanese filmmaker Chen Leste (陈正道), who will be 26 years old on March 3 this week. Hopefully this film's success at the box office will pave the road for him to maker more impressive and better work. I wish he had a better script before he shoot this one.
Note: This is originally posted on Feb 26, 2007