Turn Left, Turn Right

Turn Left, Turn Right

(Opens Sept 11)

Starring:
Takeshi Kaneshiro
Gigi Leung

Directed by:
Johnnie To

By Dawn Tay. UrbanWire.

You might be sceptical about sitting through a poor plot filled with fluffy romance, and the usual pretty faces onscreen for a good 1½ hours. Who wouldn’t think this, especially when this show stars Japanese heartthrob Takeshi Kaneshiro and popular Hong Kong singer/actress Gigi Leung?

But more than just any commercial teen flick, Turn Left Turn Right, is a bittersweet tale of a couples’ twisted fate.

Based on the best-seller book A Chance of Sunshine by Taiwanese author Jimmy Liao, the movie narrates a unique tale of an aspiring violinist John (better known as student: 763092) and a translator, Eve (student: 784533). Though next-door neighbours, and unknowingly appearing in many places in close proximity, they have never met due to their habits- John always turn right, and Eve never fails to turn left.

Finally, a chance encounter at the park brings the destined lovebirds together. Ironically, destiny and a couple of baddies then also keep the couple apart. The parts of spoilers are played by- Edmund Chen from MediaCorp and Taiwanese new face Terri Kwan.

While hated, these 2 beefy roles of supporting actor and actress, did a great job at frustrating the audience with their menacing schemes. These obstacles notwithstanding, the characters remain optimistic in finding each other.

Directed by well-known Hong Kong director Johnnie To, this $5.3 million movie is a collaboration with Warner Brothers, Hong Kong’s Milkyway Image and Singapore’s Raintree Pictures.

Although the greatest challenge about adaptations is preserving the author’s original feel, To seems to have no trouble in that aspect as he managed to retain the poetic spirit of the book well. Turn was also able to showcase most of Liao’s beautiful illustrations into cinematography just as charming. An example would be the dream-like chance encounter at the park. Quotes from the book were strategically placed or said in the movie, captivating fan audiences just like they did in Liao’s 1999 book.

The movie also had a fair mention of works (thanks to Eve’s work and love) by the Polish Nobel prizewinner, W. Szymborska, which lent a distinct artistic sense, although to the untrained ear, how good Eve’s pronunciation is can’t be determined.

To some, the emphasis on the star-crossed lovers failing to meet each other time and again is agony to watch; others might find it too much trite or unbelieveable.

Because of this repetitive failure to meet, the audience hardly captures them interacting after that one fateful meeting. The fact that they had actually met 13 years ago and, again, failed to develop their budding romance, only intensifies the emotional despair in the characters.

However, the show had a disappointing conclusion after all the painful moments underwent by the 2. The resolution was incredulous and insignificant, not doing enough justice to the characters. But this slight flaw should not deter those looking for an unforgettably aching romantic comedy to catch this movie.

Don’t worry about having to sit through a depressing and senseless flick; Turn is definitely a show worth the time and money – even for those sceptical of romantic films.

official website
Poster from http://contest.time.net.my/tltr/index.cfm


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