In an unexpected encounter, an unromantic man while looking for the most romantic sound on earth comes across two of the most romantic things, a beautiful recreational vehicle and its owner. She loves to travel the world and he hopes to find the most soul-soothing sound in nature. Pursuing their dreams, they decide to travel together in her vehicle. As they journey through picturesque sites and scenes, she helps him to regain his sensitivity while he teaches her how to value life. Their doubt for each other starts turning into love. Unfortunately, as he falls deeply for her, he discovers that the girl he loves is dying. She dreams of finding a legendary tree house where she can leave the world overlooking her hometown from afar so therefore he decides to accompany her till her last days. But in order to leave him with the most beautiful memory, the girl leaves him quietly without saying good-bye. Devastated and in the depth of his darkest time, the girl suddenly reappears before him with a brand new look and attitude. He cannot believe nor can he accept it. What on earth has happened?
Alfred Cheung hasn’t made a movie in two years, and if his latest “Love at Seventh Sight” is anything to go by, he should have stayed in semi-retirement. An adolescent romance written and directed by Cheung, it is quite certainly one of the most interminably boring films of the year, one that can be played on perpetual fast-forward without missing anything significant.
Unfolding in three acts, the first has Hong Kong-based documentary soundman Ziqi (Mike Hu) embarking on a trip to China to record something other than the sounds of the city. On the way, he meets a girl Bei Ye (Li Xiao Lu) who is going the same way and offers him a ride. The two begin to fall in love in typical teen romance fashion, but not before Bei Ye starts asking questions about how he wants to die. Like you’d probably guessed, Bei Ye soon drops a bombshell- she’s stricken with leukaemia!
So out of the blue, she disappears to pass on alone, leaving Ziqi grief-stricken. Act two begins six months later back in Hong Kong when Ziqi sees someone so resembling Bei Ye, though the girl claims not to know him at all. Something is amiss, and writer/director Cheung pulls a sleight of hand that suggests the movie could get more interesting from that point on. Wrong- after the revelation midway through the film, Ziqi just stalks this girl like a spurned lover who refuses to let go.
And just as you think it couldn’t get worse, Cheung brings you right back to the tedium that was the first part of the film! Yes, Ziqi wants to relive the beautiful seven days he spent with Bei Ye, so he brings this girl to the same postcard-ready places to soak in the beautiful scenery once more. Meanwhile, the audience is made to endure another round of the same inane bullshit that made the first act so atrocious, before wrapping up with a most predictable ending you could have guessed in your stupor induced by the movie.
What makes it even more unbearable is the appalling lack of finesse Cheung displays in his latest movie- where scene by scene unfolds with little continuity to the last. Indeed, one can only suppose that Cheung wanted to see what marvellous sights China has to behold, so he wrote this sorry excuse of a film and packed a crew together on his little sojourn, returning with nothing more than a travelogue to show for.
Unfortunately, he didn’t quite bring an appreciative cast, for his leads Mike Hu and Li Xiao Lu look just absolutely uninterested in the film. Why didn’t they enjoy the greenery, the majestic hills and valleys, and the peace and quiet of the land, we wonder? We think we would have. Instead, all we are made to put up with is this tedious sappy adolescent romance that is both plodding and pointless. Yes, just give this a miss, there is nothing here worth your time.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Audio is available in both Mandarin and Cantonese, but know that since this was filmed in China with a Taiwanese actor and a Chinese lead actress, the original dialogue track is actually the one in Chinese. Visuals are clear and sharp and complement the beautiful scenery in the movie nicely.
by Gabriel Chong
Posted on 31 January 2010