Perhaps Love, Perhaps it is love

“After Florentino Ariza saw her for the first time, his mother knew before he told her because he lost his voice and his appetite and spent entire night tossing and turning in his bed. But when he began to wait for the answer to his first letter, his anguish was complicated by diarrhea and green vomit, he became disoriented and suffered from sudden fainting spells, and his mother was terrified because his condition did not resemble the turmoil of love so much as the devastation of cholera.

Florentino Ariza’s godfather, an old homeopathic practitioner who has been Transito Ariza’s confidant ever since her days as a secret mistress, was also alarmed at first by the patient’s condition, because he has the weak pulse, the hoarse breathing, and the pale perspiration of a dying man. But his examination revealed that he has no fever, no pain anywhere, and that his only concrete feeling was an urgent desire to die. All that was needed was shrewd questioning, first of the patient and then of his mother, to conclude once again that the symptoms of love were the same as those of cholera…”

From Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

I am a sucker for love stories. I cannot resist a great love story well told and “Love in the Time of Cholera” is one of the greatest novel that I have read that has touched me deeply.

In movies as well, I enjoy watching a great love story and I let my feelings flow with the movie, often with tears welling up at certain dramatic and touching points in the movie.

This desire for a work on love is demonstrated by my love for love poems as well, as my earlier blog entry testifies.

And in life in general, I am always touched by a great love story, whether my own or other people’s.

If I were to make a movie, it will surely be a movie about love.

I was at the Malaysian Premiere of “Perhaps Love” last Saturday. Our company played host to our guests as well since we are one of the three companies that funded that USD10 million production. During the premiere, we met the stars, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Zhou Xun. It is odd to see that Takeshi is actually not very tall despite looking like very tall in the movies.

Anyways, we got a mixed reaction to the movie after the screening, with many people saying that they didn’t like the movie while some colleagues in the office told me that they actually liked the movie.

As for me and my wife, we liked the movie and there are certain parts in the movie that made my eyes welled up a bit. The music is great as well. Of all the music in the movie, I loved the catchy “Ai Meiyou, Hen Meiyou” (Love – Don’t Have, Hate – Don’t Have) number, The Jacky Cheung number at the end of the movie and the Ji Jin-hee song during the circus scene where Takeshi and Zhou Xun were on the swing, where Zhou Xun denied remembering anything from her past and that she is happy now.

The cinematography is great although the editing can benefit from a less “experimental” hand where certain parts makes you feel a bit sick due to the intercutting of shots.

If you are the sort that like romantic movies and like musicals, you will like the movie. If you cannot stand musicals, then forget about it. There are some parts in the movie that reminds me of “The Phantom of the Opera”, especially the part where Jacky Cheung sang solo in one of the scenes. Anyway, I felt that the storyline somewhat resembles “The Phantom of the Opera” too. Two person who knew each other from the past, wanted to be together but cannot due to certain circumstances and a great “master” is actually in love with the girl but the girl actually loves the young guy. You get the picture?

The movie was also quite West-centric (perhaps intended for a wide Western audience). It will be a much greater movie, in my opinion, if the movie can stay true to its oriental influences and feature those oriental details in a greater manner.

Oliver?

This coming weekend, about 18-20 Singaporean Go Players will be coming to Kuala Lumpur for a friendship match as we do every year. It is looking to be a very exciting weekend and I look forward to it very much. Hopefully our players can perform well against them, all of them are Dan players…… Two professional players who are their teachers will be coming as well, one being Mr. Philip Hsia (2p) and the other Mr. Yang (6p). I met Mr. Yang once in the Singapore club and attended one of his lessons. He is truly a great teacher. I learned a lot about fighting in that one lesson alone (which he has kindly let me in free of charge).

One more quote before I end this romantic post:

“I asked for permission from my mother to bring Yun and stay there for the summer. She stopped embroidery during the summer months because of the heat, and the whole day long, we were either reading together or discussing the ancient things, or else enjoying the moon and passing judgements on the flowers. Yun could not drink, but could take at most three cups when compelled to. I taught her literary games in which the loser had to drink. We thought there could not be a more happy life on earth than this.”

From “Six Chapters of a Floating Life” as translated by Lin Yutang. One of the greatest love story of a married couple that I have read. Simple life, great love.

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