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Requiem for Romance (2012)

A modern-day couple's phone call about the anguishing details of their relationship, is juxtaposed with visuals of an epic battle in feudal China where love equals war.


Jonathan Ng


Jonathan Ng
2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Meilie Ng Meilie Ng ... Tsai (voice)
Shannon Kook ... Yun (voice) (as Shannon Kook-Chun)


A modern-day couple's secret love affair comes to a bittersweet end during an evening phone call. Cell phone static creates distance between them as they anguish over details of their relationship. But the visuals of the film reveal something entirely different : the epic re-imagining of their relationship set in feudal China, where family influence, cultural pressures and their lust for adventure makes more sense. In this dream-like short film, love goes to war over art. Written by Anonymous

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Very well constructed across animation and audio to deliver something tender and engaging
4 April 2014 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

I recently watched a Canadian animation which was a collaborative effort which involved a group of individuals each delivering a short segment to an overall animated short using post-it notes and the scope of "your to- do list" as the basis. I didn't really care for this film but some of the sections caught my eye and made me interested to check out the work of these people. One of these was Jonathon Ng and this film was the one I came to as a follow-up. The film is an odd but effective mix. Visually we have a film which is a water color while also referencing wushu films. In this realm we see a male and female martial artist confront each other on rooftops late at night. Meanwhile, on the audio we have a phone call between Yun and his girlfriend Tsai – a call where Tsai has to break it to Yun that their relationship is coming to an end.

It is an odd juxtaposition to try and pull off and I guess the "easy" way to have done it is to make a very heavy link between the two, with the phone conversation being heavy and melodramatic to tie directly into the swordplay that we are seeing. Instead though Ng has managed to tap into the pain of his visuals, of the honor and "I love you but must fight you" type scenario and this is the link that works best because it also fits with the subtle use of music and of course the visuals. To speak on these, the animation is excellent throughout and it is of course what you will remember but what is also worth nothing is that you will not come away impressing by the acting of the two on the phone. Why not? Well simply because they do not feel like actors but rather come over as natural and convincing – two people reluctantly breaking up.

So while Ng deserves all the credit for the idea, the animation and the delivery of the whole, I did think the clear and natural voice performances from Kook and Ng. Requiem for Romance works very well across all these aspects and while the styling and content of the animation may come over to some as too familiar, its use in the context of the contemporary relationship is very clever and, ultimately, quite tender and moving.

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