Cheerful delivery boy Tian Kuo (Eddie Peng) delivers lunchboxes to a local hearing-impaired swimming team. He holds a torch for hearing-impaired cutie Yang Yang (Ivy Chen), who's often at the pool to cheer on her older sister Xiao Peng (Michelle Chen). Yang Yang wholeheartedly supports Xiao Peng's dream of competing in the Deaflympics, even if it means working multiple jobs and giving all her time to her sister. Yang Yang slowly falls for Tian Kuo's goofy charms, but the burgeoning romance opens a rift in the sisters' relationship.
It's the kind of love story which everyone wishes for- Boy falls in love with girl. Girl eventually falls in love with boy. And it definitely helps that both are good lookers, which, sad to say, most of us in real life are not. For some mysterious reason, this often happens in movies, and in this case, a Taiwanese one which makes things even closer to home. You'd think to yourself: "Damn, why do some people have all the luck?" Well, that is, until you realise the power of manipulation in movies.
The very likeable story of this Cheng Fen Fen directed picture has a delivery boy falling for a girl whom we often see at the swimming pool. We see them communicating through sign language, and we assume that there is some issue of someone having a hearing disability. Anyway, things are made more beautiful when these two, err, we have to emphasise here, good lookers see themselves as poetic water fowls and trees, and wanting to pursue what they really want in life to take their relationship to greater heights.
Unless this is a common topic of conversation with your other half, this may come across as trying to hard to exemplify the beautiful romance that young people indulge themselves in nowadays. But what else is there not to like in this 110 minute movie? The leads, Eddie Peng and Ivy Chen, are easy going on the eyes. The pleasant demeanour and that special glow is something we wish we had when we were younger. The vibrancy and energy these two young actors becomes the anchor of the show.
Elsewhere, there are supporting characters of Chen's elder sister, whose sole goal in life is to take part in the swimming category of the Deaflympics, as well as Peng's parents, who go all out to shower their care and concern to their only son who is madly falling in love. These conveniently caricatured characters may not be the most innovatively written personalities, but they are agreeable and pleasing enough not to leave you irritated.
The sincere production also takes the opportunity to highlight the emotions of the disabled, in this case, the hearing impaired, has to go through. It gives us some pointers on how we can integrate them into the society and having them contributing as much, if not more, than us.
Then there is the twist. After a meandering duration which almost takes us nowhere (why we continued watching the passable movie was because of its good looking cast), the plot decides to take a turn and introduces us to something, well, to put it simply without giving any spoilers, surprising. Maybe the filmmakers wanted an innovative approach to storytelling, but we did not buy it. It feels almost contrived, frivolous and trivial. But we would not harp on it too much, because of, yes, you’ve guessed it- the good looking cast.
The Code 3 DVD contains only a Photo Gallery and a Trailer for the movie. It would have been interesting to find out more about the Deaflympics.
There is nothing to complain about the movie's fine visual transfer, and is presented in its original Mandarin audio track.
Review by John Li
Posted on 9 April 2010