In Mandarin with English and Chinese Subtitles
Director: Jay Chou
Cast: Jay Chou, Kwai Lun-Mei, Anthony Wong
1 hr 50 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films & Innoform
Opening Day: 8 August 2007
HERE TO GO TO JAY CHOU'S SINGAPORE "SECRET" TOUR
Jay Chou's directorial debut. This is the first day Lun admitted
to Tamkang Secondary School. When he walks through the campus
with his classmates, a mysterious piano solo draws his attention.
He follows the song and finds that an ethereal girl is playing
piano in the old music room. The piano girl is Yu (Guey Lun-Mei),
one of Lun’s classmates. The two become intimate friends
and spend a lot of time together. “What’s the
melody you played the first day we met?” asked Lun,
“That’s my secret.” Yu whispered in his
marks Jay Chou’s full length film directorial debut
venture and playing in his area of expertise, he has once
again successfully captured the hearts of his intended audience.
The strength of his debut lies in the casting, his amazing
music choreography and usage of subjects that’s often
broach on in his albums. His weakness was however felt on
the editing and pacing of the movie as he allowed certain
segments to lag unnecessarily. The main selling point of this
movie, the secret was overall, a satisfying one. Even though
it felt like he borrowed crucial elements from other films
to create this secret, Jay Chou had successfully mould this
tried and tested twist into his distinct blend of ambience
and likeable style.
It’s no secret that entertainment artists are always
using their fame and expertise in one area to help catapult
them into success in a whole different platform. It’s
also no secret that most of them failed in such changeover.
So far, Jay Chou’s transition from the music maestro
to the movie’s actor had been respectable.
for him to take on the role of director and coming up with
the story, it’s definitely made an eye opener to see
if he is able to pull it off, acting and directing at the
same time with only a couple of films under his acting resume.
short answer is yes.
of all, Secret works mainly due to the fact that he was already
on familiar terms with angst romantic issues in his songs
and his popularity gives a good testament to his ability in
stringing the affairs of the heart.
next big factors would be the choice of cast. Anthony Wong
who played his father in Initial D reprise his role as Jay
Chou’s on screen dad again. The camaraderie that they
shared previously transit well into this movie and the loveable
Anthony Wong threatens to steal every scene that he appears
other one would be casting of Kwai Lun Mei. Someone pointed
out that the second leading actress looked more attractive
but what she lacks the conventional definition of prettiness;
she was able to shine with her charisma and did well to paint
an aura of secrecy around her. Jay Chou did mention that he
might cast her again for his future movie project and after
witnessing her performance in Secret, it’s not hard
to understand why Jay Chou would want to work with her again
within such short time span.
other thing that was worth sitting up for during this movie
would be the onslaught of piano performances in this movie.
It’s pretty much like the action sequence that you get
in a Jet Li or Jackie Chan movie except Jay Chou does it with
music. One notable scene occurred when Jay Chou played against
a fellow classmate in a piano duel where the challenge would
be to repeat the exact piece that the opponent had played.
It’s just as spectacular as watching Tony Jaa doing
those challenging action feats except it was on piano and
aside, Secret was not without it’s flaws and one of
them is overindulgence. It’s understandable that all
directors are unwilling to cut away portions of the films
as it’s something that they hold so dear to but sometimes,
a good director need to trim the film down so that it will
be at it’s most potent format. That’s what lacking
in this film and some of the messages lose their effectiveness
through the slow segments and unnecessary explanations.
than that, it got to be the secret that the film been harboring
during the first three quarters.
Lun Mei mentioned during their tour in Singapore to pay close
attention to what’s happening in the first three quarters
as there are hints littered everywhere, indicating what going
to happen. For those frequent movie goers, it will not be
hard to detect the bits that felt rather amiss. But still,
the initial revelation will comes as a major jarring displacement
that will likely make one wonder if the projectionist had
changed the wrong reel of film. The credible part about this
movie’s secret was how it was able to reconnect back
to the romantic story by borrowing elements from other movies.
In the end, it felt a bit far fetch but that was easily swept
under the romantic notion and all the implausible conception
will be quickly forgotten.
Chou did mention that if the box office for Secret fails to
meet a certain mark, his full length features directing career
will comes to an end and will only dabbles directing small
music videos in the future. Based on the reaction from the
cinema audience, the massive turn out for his Secret promotion
and after reviewing his movie, this reviewer finds it hard
to believe that he will be constrain to Music Videos directing
duties in the near future.
are some spoiler contents that discuss about the “Secret”
about this movie. While it doesn’t reveal the actual
secret, the author recommends the reader to experience the
secret first hand in the cinema first. Otherwise to reveal
the secret, just scroll down the following paragraph to read)
Secret of the film initially felt like a weird revelation
that was pretty much in the “Sixth Sense” genre.
It felt like someone had just pulled the mat off your feet.
But sensibly and credit to be given, the film utilize the
idea seen in Japanese romantic drama “Be with You”
and one episode in Twilight Zone (the Convict’s Piano)
that had a great idea in usage of piano beside producing music;
to create a romantic ending that still relatable.
("A wonderful musical odyssey into first love, pack with
an unexpected chain of events that will most likely fascinate
the intended audiences”)
Review by Richard Lim Jr