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Taipei. A voice off-camera looks back ten years to 2000, when Vicky was in an on-again off-again relationship with Hao-Hao. She's young, lovely, and aimless. He's a slacker. Cigarettes and alcohol fuel her nights. We see bits of her life: when Hao-Hao steals his father's Rolex and the police detain them; when she gets a job as a club hostess, where she meets Jack, who becomes her patron and protector; when Hao-Hao comes to the club, insisting on talking to her; when she visits Yubari, Japan, for its film festival in the dead of winter; when Jack must go to Japan to straighten out trouble caused by one of his acolytes. Does Vicky have any expectations? Does time simply pass? Written by
I find that I can't get this film out of my mind. This is one of the saddest, most depressing films I've seen in a few years. I think one of the reasons why it is so sad is that the director juxtaposes scenes where Shu Qi is radiantly happy to those where she's stuck in her miserable life, and I think this contrast amplifies the depressing circumstances we see. As others have mentioned, this film doesn't have much of a plot, and I personally find these kinds of films difficult to appreciate. But for some reason, I find myself strangely compelled by this film. I agree with an earlier poster that the opening scene of Shu Qi running in slow motion with the techno music throbbing in the background (from a PHENOMENAL soundtrack as others have also noted) is extremely powerful and compelling. Early in the movie, I also liked the scene where Shu Qi is being "checked out" by her whacked out boyfriend, and she barely tolerates it in classic passive-aggressive style. I think the long takes with little action work because Shu Qi is so compelling (re: gorgeous), that she can just sit there smoking a cigarette and the audience (or at least me) is totally captivated.
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