SYNOPSIS: Xiao Muo (Chen Bo-Lin) is a young man who is brought up in an old Taipei neighborhood. One day, a beautiful young girl May (Tong Yao) subsequently appears in Xiao Muo’s neighborhood. Suffering from a voice problem and desperate to hide herself, she seeks help from Xiao Muo, who offers her a place to stay, finds her a job at a local diner, and even takes her to a Chinese doctor for treatment. His kindness seems to touch her heart, but does not help to lift her melancholic mood. Like Xiao Muo, others in the neighborhood are kind to her and never ask where she is from. Xiao Muo finds himself falling in love with May as her voice is recovering. Her heart, however, belongs somewhere else. He finally understands that one disappears in order to be found.
Visually stunning is all I can muster to describe “Snowfall In Taipei” in an otherwise hollow Mainland funded, shot in Taiwan production.
Zhang Ziyi-lookalike Tong Yao plays May, an up-and-coming singer who disappears into the rural countryside of Taiwan after losing her voice. In the quaint little town, she met a kind-hearted young man Xiao Mo (Chen Bo-lin) who serves as the town’s delivery man. Thus while May’s record executive and a reporter, Jack (Morning Mo Zi Yi) are busy searching for her whereabouts, Xiao Mo and May begins to slowly develop feelings for each other during their time together.
If you are a fan of Japanese rom-coms then “Snowfall In Taipei” might be your cup of tea since “Taipei” is mould after them. Well who can blame the filmmakers since the original material is from a Japanese novella. Many of the onscreen characters are wafer-thin liked May’s ultra-cool, long-haired music producer, Ray (Tony Yang) who could be the sole reason why May chooses to leave his side. Unrequited love maybe but the script doesn’t allow much description or character developments. Throw in an overly-enthusiastic reporter Jack into the picture and it seems that everyone is clamoring for May. But why May again? What makes her so special? Her once magnetic voice or beautiful looks that contribute to it? No one apparently seems to care and the compact 99 minutes runtime plays like eternity with other uninvolving subplots that include a tortured Xiao Mo who is abandoned for no reason by his mother when he was young.
Fortunately, the postcard views of Ching Tung slowly become the main starring character. The lush cinematography of the idyllic location is nothing short of amazing and the inclusion of an unwritten clause that Made-in-Taiwan movies should come with scenes of the magnificent soaring sky lanterns adds to the incredible visuals. Director Huo Jianqi who makes his mark making indie dramas might not have much magic touch on the romantic genre but he certainly has the talent to make his cast members look as attractive as possible under the intended rainy skies of Ching Tung. Huo even extends a clumsy unnecessary scene of conveying the theme of snowfall in Taipei towards the end.
Shot like a picturesque extended MV (including indie singer Cheer Chen’s repertoire of songs and a Meng Tingwei’s classic to go with it) that has an easy-on-the-eye cast, “Snowfall In Taipei” is unfortunately a forgettable romantic flick that is never heartfelt and fares more of a forceful affair between two unlikely duos.
The DVD comes with a Photo Gallery and Trailer.
The incredible visual is captured beautifully on this DVD and the 2.0 soundtrack is sufficient for this title.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee