Pretty visuals, puzzling behaviour

Jasper Liu Yi-hao and Ivy Chen Yi-han are the stars in More Than Blue.
Jasper Liu Yi-hao and Ivy Chen Yi-han are the stars in More Than Blue. PHOTO: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT



106 minutes/Opens today

2.5 stars

The story: K (Jasper Liu Yi-hao) is dying of cancer, but does not tell his roommate and love of his life Cream (Ivy Chen Yi-han) as he does not want to upset her. Instead, he uses the little time he has left to help her get married to handsome dentist You-hsien (Bryan Chang Shu-hao).

This movie has been making waves at the Taiwanese box office since it premiered two weeks ago. It had the biggest opening for a domestic film in Taiwan this year and crossed the NT$100 million (S$4.5 million) mark in just nine days.

The strong performance numbers must be due to the fan appeal of the film's three main stars - heart-throb Liu has a particularly strong fan base - because the story itself is completely ridiculous.

In this faithful remake of the equally absurd 2009 South Korean film of the same name, everything that K does is meant to be seen as utterly romantic, as he goes to extremes to ensure that the love of his life is happily married before he dies.

The result? He only manages to come off as delusional and self-serving when he goes so far as to break off You-hsien's engagement to someone else just because Cream has a small crush on him.

Who cares if You-hsien or his fiancee gets hurt as long as Cream gets whatever she wants, right?

In typical South Korean melodramatic fashion, there is a twist at the end of the movie that reveals there is more to the story. But this new detail only makes the characters' motivations even more puzzling.

Story aside, this is a very pretty film to watch, whether it is the good-looking people or the postcard-perfect visuals featuring plenty of warm yellow lighting and raindrops.

There are also a number of sugary-sweet lines that are being regularly cited on many romance quote blogs and Instagram accounts in Taiwan.

When K is asked, for example, what he would like to be in his next life, he replies very seriously: "A ring, a pair of glasses, a bed or a journal - so that I can always be near you."

Given how unlikable K is, this reviewer only finds such dialogue puke-worthy.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2018, with the headline 'Pretty visuals, puzzling behaviour'. Print Edition | Subscribe