Sunday, August 5, 2007

City of Glass (Hong Kong 1998)

City of Glass (玻璃之城) has two love stories happening in two different time periods. The first love story is set in the colonial 70's, and centers around Raphael (Leon Lai) and Vivian (Shu Qi). Why they have such unattractive English names, I do no know. What I do know, is that they die in a car accident on New Years, at a time when Britain was handing Hong Kong over to China. So, now that they're dead, their kids meet each other for the first time. Raphael and Vivian weren't married to each other, but they each had children with their significant other. The kids are at the reading of the will, since the spouses Raphael and Vivian left behind want nothing to do with them. The first three scenes make City of Glass incredibly hard to watch, and I understand why. Trying to get that plot line established within the first ten minutes must have been a nightmare for the screenwriter.

Now, City of Glass isn't great by any means, but the premise is quite interesting. If you've ever had a first love (and almost everyone has), you'll probably be able to relate to Raphael and Vivian, who even though their lives drifted apart, managed to find each other and hold onto their love the entire time. After the kids have dealt with the will, they both end up inheriting the house that their parents, Raphael and Vivian, shared their secret lives; the life they always wanted have with each other. As the kids delve deeper into their parent's secret love life, they begin to fall in love with each other. Of course, they start off hating each other, blaming the other's parent for this or that happening, and hating their remaining parent for not handling matters of the will themselves. However, after learning more and more about this undying love each of their parent's had for each other, they begin to find that same love between themselves. To be honest, the story is much more about the children than it is the parents, as the parents are just used as the catalyst to drive the kid's story forward. If anything, it teaches us that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, love is unpredictable. Love might not be able to keep you together forever, but it may just be enough to lead others to find love together. (CBDustin)

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