Calmi Cuori Appassionati tells of the history of the love between Junsei (Yutaka Takenouchi), an art restorer working in Florence, and the love of his life, Aoi (Kelly Chen). Ten years back they break up in Japan and lead new and separate lives in Italy. But whilst Aoi has found a new beau, Junsei fails to fall out of love with her. Fleeting near-misses and real encounters pass by, as they discover what was really behind their relationship to start with and make their own decisions in the end.
Calmi is a beautifully set film, with the magical backdrop of Florence as its central setting. With additional scenes set in Milan and Japan, it really did feel an international movie.
However, the film lacked the innovation we come to expect from an independent film. Sure there were a few fine moments of direction and cinematography, especially many of the aerial and distance shots, but there was nothing that really took your breath away.
The storyline itself was much the same. Enough to keep you interested, well written and nicely timed flashbacks, but nothing that really surprised you. In a way you might have thought the story was a bit magical in that you couldn't expect it to surprise you. The characters also lacked a little depth, not really allowing you to explore them. The film really didn't make you think too deeply at all.
One of the most annoying aspects about Calmi is the soundtrack. Unfortunately, I felt the choice of using several tracks from Enya's Paint The Sky With Stars was overdone and was often used in parts of the film where the music just didn't fit. There are pluses, however, where Enya wasn't used and the classical pieces did fit in well.
I could go on summarising all the faults of the movie, but I feel that it would be over-critical since I'm would be setting extremely high standards. Indeed, I would like to stress that I did enjoy this film and it did engage some of my own emotions. There were some scenes where the acting was very good. I was impressed by the acting ability of Takenouchi, having not seen before, and also that of Chen.
However, I am disappointed that the film really didn't try enough to escape the boundaries that we associate with mainstream pictures and show us something more stunning to the eye. But I do offer it applause because ultimately it is a fine movie.
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