Archive for October, 2008

Lust, Caution (戒 | 色)

Posted in Movie Reviews on October 30, 2008 by niennavarda

To kill the enemy, she would have to capture his heart....and break her own.

To kill the enemy, she would have to capture his heart....and break her own.

1942, affluent and sophisticated Mrs. Mak enters a posh cafe and makes a phone call to Second Brother. Flashback, 1938 to a shy university freshman girl, Wong Chia Chi left by her father for England after the war broke out. Mrs. Mak isn’t Mrs. Mak but Wong Chia Chi disguised for an ambitious and dangerous ploy to assassinate a top Japanese collaborator, Mr Yee.

In the throes of war, what can a handful of university students do? Kuang Yu Min, the head of Wong Chia Chi’s theater troupe felt they ought to do more than just stir up their audience’s patriotism. They engaged themselves in a plot where each student would have a part to play to kill a country’s traitor. Wong Chia Chi transformed herself inside out to lure Mr Yee into an affair by first befriending his wife. It was to be a play with no rehearsals and only one take. After a significant twist, Wong Chia Chi and Kuang Yu Min becomes more involved with the plot as they become part of the underground resistance group. The deception makes Wong Chia Chi’s identity and emotions hang in the balance.

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I never got to watch this movie when the film was released last year. And instead of doing my much needed review for the upcoming JLPT exams this December, I watched this movie instead. I have no regrets, though. This movie is the kind of movie that makes a strong impact on you and somehow makes you a bit different after watching it.

The lighting and cinematography was excellent and aptly sets the mood of the time. Tang Wei as Wong Chia Chi was also superb. To be able to portray so much with those controlled emotions must have been very demanding but she made switching from a shy freshman to a sophisticated married seductress look effortless. Not to mention the graphic sex scenes she had to do. Gad, that MUST have been hard. And Tony Leung (Mr. Yee)… well Tony Leung IS Tony Leung. Enough said. As for Wang Leehom (Kuang Yu Min), maybe the role wasn’t as demanding as Wong Chia Chi but he fairly did well. But did I say that Wang Leehom was drop-dead gorgeous? OMG, ang gwapo niya!!! And did I say he also sings, composes and plays various musical instruments? OMG!!! Tulo laway =P~

On a personal note, I like the movie because I like tragic endings. The movie’s plot must have already been used countless of times but I like the subtlety of how the various elements were portrayed. The movie didn’t have a flowery screenplay (yep, no quotes for me) but the emotions were eloquently portrayed from the acting. Foregoing love for a higher purpose, patriotism, the need to grow up fast in turbulent times, breaking through a cold, unfeeling heart – these elements have all been used before but Lust, Caution makes you see them in a different light.

I was deeply moved when Mr. Yee cried after Wong Chia Chi sang for him. The cold, unfeeling, killing machine traitor was after all, human. The movie also made me think of how far can I go when fighting for my country is in the line. Can I do what Kuang Yu Min did? Can I allow the woman I love put her life in the line and let her body be used by the enemy for a higher purpose?

Well, in the end, Wong Chia Chi chose her emotions over her country which is stupid, but in reality could you really let someone who loves you so much and whose life has changed because of yours (not to mention someone you’ve already learned to love) be killed because of your deception?

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Ang jologs nito at walang koneksyon sa pelikula, pero naalala ko lang bigla ang isang quote ni Bob Ong: “Kung hindi mo mahal ang isang tao, wag ka nang magpakita ng motibo para mahalin ka nya..”

Bakit ko ba ito nadagdag? Si Tinats kasi eh, puro Bob Ong ang laman ng diwa 😛

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Ayan, Nasabi Ko Na… Mahal Kita

Posted in Fiction on October 22, 2008 by niennavarda

At minsan ko na nga lang gagawin ang ganitong klaseng bagay sa buhay ko, di ko pa linubus-lubos. Ano ba naman yung pagkatapos kong sabihin ang nararamdaman ko ay bigla na lang akong nagsisitakbong palayo. Ni hindi ko man lang hinintay ang sasabihin mo. O kung wala ka mang sasabihin sana tiniis ko na lang ang pagkabog ng dibdib ko, ang pangangatog ng tuhod ko para aralin kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng ngiting napintura sa mukha mo pagkatapos kong magsalita. O kaya, sana tumitig na lang ako sa mata mo at baka nakahanap pa ako ng kahit konting ideya kung ano ang nilalaman ng isip mo. Pero hindi. Hindi ko yun nagawa. Napakaduwag ko.

Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit huhugot na rin lang ako ng lakas ng loob mula kung saan mang kaibuturan ng pagkatao ko, hindi ko pa inayos ang pagdeliver ng speech ko. Ewan ko ba. Nung pina-practice naman namin yan ng kaibigan ko nung gabi bago ang tinakdang araw, cool naman ang dating ko, parang whatever lang. Pero hindi ko talaga alam kung bakit nang nagsalita na ako sa harap mo, nauutal na ako, naghy-hyperventilate at daig ko pa ang nagkaroon ng severe allergic reaction sa pakiramdam ng pagkakapal ng dila ko. Yan tuloy, ang jologs ng speech ko. Ang jologs-jologs ko. Cool pa naman ako. Well, sabi ng iba at minsan feeling ko rin papasa na. Pero hindi ako cool kung nandiyan ka. Nagsho-short circuit ang utak ko. Kaya siguro mula nang makilala kita ang dami nang sumabog na neurons ko. Oo at ganun din ang pakiramdam ko, isang powered-on circuit board na binuhusan ng malamig na tubig.

At bakit nga ba, magtatapat na rin lang ako hindi ko pa ninamnam ang pagpapadulas sa dila ng mga salitang nagmamahal ako. Sana sinabi ko na rin na mula nang matuklasan kong mahal kita, napukaw ang damdamin kong paghusayan ang lahat ng ginagawa ko, ayusin ang buhay ko, iwanan ang mga bisyo ko, maging isang mabuting tao at maging magaling katulad mo. Pero milliseconds lang ata ang inabot ng lahat. Nagmamadali akong lumayo. Hindi ko kaya ang titig mo. Lalo kaya’t hintayin ang sasabihin mo.

At ngayon, tapos na. Nakapagsabi na ako. Nasabi ko ring hindi ko kailangan ang sagot mo. Hindi ko kailangan ng sagot at hindi ako nagaantabay. Hindi ko lang siguro maalis sa utak ko kung ano ang nasa isip mo. Manghuhula na lang siguro ako o mag-aantay. O di kaya palilipasin ang panahon hanggang mawala ito. Kung mawawala nga ito. Ang mahalaga, ayun, nasabi ko na… mahal kita. At least ngayon alam mo na.

I Just Want to be True to Myself Right Now…

Posted in Mga Karunungan with tags on October 5, 2008 by niennavarda

and admit that I am lonely. That sometimes, no matter how many drinking parties you go to, or places you travel to or new things you try, you still go to bed at night and realize that there’s a gnawing hole in your person that isn’t quite filled. I’m not necessarily talking about a need for a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship but more of having someone constant in your life, be it a friend, a sister, a room mate or an office mate. Someone you can talk to and share your ideas with consistently and someone who just enjoys your companionship because you’re you.

I miss my college dorm room mates and our chats until the wee hours of the morning. Those times when we should all have been already sleeping but can’t help laughing over our mishaps. I miss my siblings and our intellectual (intellectual daw ba? hehehe) conversations. Kayo na ang mga taong pinaka-ka-wavelength ko sa buong mundo. I miss your witty retorts. I even miss the times you would all gang up to pick on me, your favorite pastime.

I’ve been really trying to keep myself busy to make myself happy all this time. But I guess you can only do so much on your own. I hate admitting that I need people. I hate admitting that I have a weakness. I have always prided myself that I can survive on my own but who am I fooling, right?

I just came from a drinking/bonding session with friends just a couple of hours back. I learned a very valuabe lesson today: it is all right to admit that you do get lonely. It is not a bad thing. I am afterall just human. Thanks, guys.