Sunday, September 24, 2006

[DVD] Dragon Eye Congee: A Dream of Love (2005)

Taiwan Teenage Textbook

This film actually had a one-off screening at GV cinemas last year. I was raring to go watch it, until I found out that it was sold out real fast because fans of Fann Wong were flocking in droves to see their idol in action on the big screen. Nonetheless I had to settle for the DVD, courtesy of

Perhaps the only good thing about this movie, is how the dragon eye congee looked so appetizing. I felt hunger pangs as I watched Fann Wong serve bowl after bowl for her screen beloved, and observing with those longing eyes as he slurps it all down.

Dragon Eye Congee: A Dream of Love, looks and feels like a telemovie. And being a predominantly Taiwanese production, expect the usual television melodrama and weepie moments coming on to try and manipulate your emotions. Sadly (no pun intended), the movie while beautiful to look at and filled with wonderful cinematic shots, lacked the very soul that it wants to preach about - love. There's nothing too deep in exploring that emotion, and what transpires is a romance that's too good to be true, and exists only in children's fairy tales.

Written by Yang Bo, I felt that the short story on which the movie is based upon, would have been more interesting than its cinematic vision, directed by Allen Chang. In fact, you could totally forgo the first hour of the movie, as it has little to do with the remaining 30 minutes, except to take a very long time to set the stage. The casts, probably hampered by the weak script, never really had a chance to lift the movie from the doldrums, although their acting were passable at best. The leads Fann Wong and Shaun Tam rarely looked believable as the inseparable Romeo and Juliet, totally lacking in chemistry to convince that they are a match made in heaven.

There is perhaps just too many characters for a simple story like this, which can't decide if it wanted to be flashback based, introducing new supporting characters who are in the movie for just that few minutes of screen time, and never important enough to further the plot. While the idea of a role is hinted at, most of the time it's just a simple gloss over and never going deep enough to make them memorable.

However, the music used here, if you dig the chinese orchestra, might serve as a plus point to you. Though I can't fault the lovely melody, it being used repeatedly does get on your nerves, as too much of a good thing just reduced the utility gained from it.

If you would like to give this movie a try, then go ahead and tell me what you think. For fans of Fann, her performance here is nothing spectacular, but you might want to check it out if you're being a completist.

Code 3 DVD comes with no extras, besides the usual English and Chinese subtitle selection. Audio and visual transfer seems ordinary, and nothing to shout about.

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