Blue Gate Crossing (Lan se da men) (2002) • Taiwan

Dreamy, Romantic, Tender. OK We're given those on the poster. They are not the words I would use. Instead, I'd go with: Adorable, Sweet, Sensitive. This is a well-acted, well-directed, well-written movie, a joy to watch.

It took me a few minutes to warm up to the characters, but only a few. We meet the two girls first, a girly girl who seems to be in control, and a brooding follower. Not much to go on with that. Girly girl spots sensitive boy and wants him but insists that brooding girl act as the go-between. The film focuses on the friendship that develops between brooding girl and sensitive boy after that. Brooding girl becomes razor-sharp, adorably-mixed-up-commando-teen when paired with sensitive boy—who falls in love with her.

This film (the director?) does a remarkable job of capturing teens as they are: insecure and passionate; as easily hurt as they are to fall in love. They provoke each other without knowing why and then act like it never happened. One of the many highlights of this film is when the boy and girl, having run out of verbal ammunition, begin a shoving match. It goes on for some time and then they stop. They talk again. The director cuts to a scene of the two of them straightening up their surroundings together. He makes many decisions like that to keep us focused on the big picture: shit happens, and then something else happens. There's no stopping it.

I have to point out that watching this Taiwanese film with English subtitles added quite a bit to the adorableness of it. For example, after brooding girl sets up sensitive boy with girly girl, who knows he likes brooding girl, (you have to see the film to see how that happens), sensitive boy walks girly girl home. After an uncomfortably done good-bye, girly girl calls out after sensitive boy as he's about to mount his bicycle and says: "Zhang Shihao, (pause) can you date with me?" I don't know exactly what was said in Taiwanese, but that odd translation seemed to capture the moment perfectly.

I smiled from ear to ear while watching this movie from the time sensitive boy was introduced until the very end. This is an exceptionally well done film, off-the-charts-delightful.


No comments:

Post a Comment