Park Jin-Young or JYP is to be blamed for the inescapable "Nobody" by the Wonder Girls, and 2PM's brooding pop hit, "Again & Again." Actually it was Felice Tusi, a fellow contributor to allmusicjunkies.com, who brought my attention to JYP's secret to writing a string of hits.
Nobody, nobody but you. Again and again and again and again. Like a broken record that's record-breaking. If it weren't for the catchy hooks, it wouldn't be different from frustrated begging for belief. For loyalty.
Yee Chin-Yen's Blue Gate Crossing is brimming with questions repeated over and over by Zhang Shihao, a teenage boy (Wilson Chen/Chen Bo-Lin), but the answers are never kind. Confusion in love has never been this gorgeously realized, with all its awkward and clumsy interrogation. If I could, I would, question and question again and again. What is
childish comes across as frantic desperation. So what does it mean? What does it mean? What does it mean?
There's rhythm in the words. There is dance in the gestures. Zhang Shihao wants to keep in beat with Ming Kerou (Kwai Lunmei) whether it's dancing, stomping on a note, or arguing. In his head, it's about timing. Moving as one to be one. Ming Kerou, on the other hand, wants to keep in step with someone else.
The film is busy with silence. The side glances and long last looks fill the space of a sparse script, but the silence is never languid. It oftentimes feels like Yee Chin-Yen is writing the perfect pop song. There's a hummable beat to Blue Gates Crossing's pacing, fluidly going through the motions of love and heartbreak. There is a pop hook to the words, which stick and stay with you. There is that butterfly-in-the-stomach warmth, that lingering last note as Ming Kerou watches Zhang Shihao's back, that killer lyric as the strings soar: I can't see myself, but I can always see you.
Nobody, nobody but you. *****
The Region 3 DVD has several extras including a Making-Of, Wilson Chen's trip to Hong Kong to promote the movie and interviews with the cast and director. No english subtitles on all the extras though.