Thursday, 9 February 2017

Perhaps Love Review 2005 Hong Kong 如果·愛

This year the world fell in love with La La Land. Why not also fall in love with Perhaps Love.

Acclaimed director Peter Chan takes the helm for this lavish, award winning musical concerning the love triangle between a handsome actor, his beautiful co-star, and a talented film director. Lin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and his ex-lover Sun (Zhou Xun) are shooting a movie for celebrated director Nie Wen (Jacky Cheung) when the flames of their former passion are gradually rekindled. A charismatic director who has poured his entire heart and soul into making a movie about a passionate love triangle, Nie finds his entire production about to collapse as Lin does everything in his power to win back the ravishing Sun.

Perhaps Love was marketed as the first Chinese musical for 40 years, which is highly surprising when you consider how many talented pop stars and singers work in the Hong Kong Film industry. This film definitely plays up to those strengths with the singing being on a much higher level than something a Ewan McGregor or Ryan Gosling could deliver.

A compelling movie-within-a-movie story that works extremely well with disguising the fact it's actually a musical. Rather than random outbursts of songs as a main character casually walk down a street, we are treated to the musical numbers happening as part of the movie the characters are filming. This is genuinely a breath of fresh air for people who aren't usually invested in the musical genre as it comes across less jarring.

The cinematography is exquisite! The locations and sets are remarkable! The costumes are dazzling! Perhaps Love really looks like a big budget film. It plays up to it's strengths and remarkably it's one of the most ambitions Chinese productions ever.

The songs are incredibly powerful and compliment the heart-wrenching love story perfectly. One of the main songs is a haunting number by Jacky Cheung with stunning operatic vocals accompanied by grand orchestral music backing it. The songs and moments like this are what take the film to another level!

There is a few missteps along the way. The general feel comes across rather depressing and some joy or humour injected throughout wouldn't go a miss. The story also gets somewhat muddled towards the end of the third act. But these are minor criticisms on the whole.

Brilliant performances all round from the main cast of Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhou Xun and Jacky Cheung, fortunately there is no weak link in sight. Another great outing from legendary Hong Kong go-to director Peter Chan(Comrades: Almost A Love Story, Dragon, The Warlords).

For the best experience I would highly recommend this blu-ray release from Tai Seng, it delivers stunning picture quality and fantastic sound, and it is region free!


25th Hong Kong Film Awards
Won: Best Actress (Zhou Xun)
Won: Best Art Direction (Chung Man Yee, Pater Wong)
Won: Best Cinematography (Peter Pau)
Won: Best Costume & Makeup Design (Chung Man Yee, Dora Ng)
Won: Best Original Film Score (Peter Kam, Leon Ko)
Won: Best Original Film Song (Peter Kam, Jacky Cheung)

43rd Golden Horse Awards
Won: Best Actress (Zhou Xun)
Won: Best Cinematography (Peter Pau)
Won: Best Director (Peter Chan)
Won: Best Original Film Song (Leon Ko)

See This if you liked:
Moulin Rouge
Comrades: Almost A Love Story
La La Land

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