PERHAPS LOVE dvd review

Hong Kong Region 3 NTSC dvd

Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1

Mandarin DTS 5.1 and DD 5.1

Subtitles: English








Wow, Christopher Doyle has done it again. Every scene of his cinematography of PERHAPS LOVE can be cut up into photos and posted in a gallery. Excellent job! Christopher Doyle may not be a total magician though. Although he tried, he couldn’t save the movie from being good. All he could do was make PERHAPS LOVE into a fair movie. But that’s not his responsiblity. He has turned a piece of poo into a shiny gold-covered, sugar-coated turd. Unfortunately, PERHAPS LOVE is still a piece of crap and all the superb cinematography and its professionally-made look cannot disguise the stench of this movie. Speaking of Christopher Doyle, I realized while watching this movie that he has done the cinematography of the majority of Wong Kar Wai’s masterpieces, except for AS TEARS GO BY and the upcoming THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI. I’m not a fan of Wong Kar Wai, but his imagery in his films are nice – but that’s all thanks to Christopher Doyle. I wonder what would Wong Kar Wai be without Christopher Doyle. His films may not be the masterpieces without Doyle. I have a gut feeling that Doyle should be getting more credit for Wong Kar Wai films than Wong Kar Wai himself.

So with the massive help of Christopher Doyle, PERHAPS LOVE is a fair movie. I felt like I was watching a bad Alan Parker musical. Besides the amazing cinematography of this miserable musical, it had a dreamy feel to it that I liked. But once again, that’s all Christopher Doyle. The combination of the cinematography, sets, minimalism during many scenes, costumes all combined to give this film memorable imagery.

PERHAPS A STORY NEEDED, I mean, PERHAPS LOVE is not even a movie about love – all it shows is shallowness, mind games, hatred, and no chemistry between the lovers. If the main focus of the story is about love, then write about love! The writers of PERHAPS LOVE wrote good screenplays for PURPLE STORM and PEKING OPERA BLUES, but their teamwork together in this movie was awful. The poor writing screwed this movie up big time. I felt sort of bad for Jackie Cheung’s character, but the Takeshi and Xun characters had no love or chemistry when they were together in the past and none in the present (the movie jumps around from the past and present). The pseudo love displayed by the three main actors in this movie seemed to be written by a 15-year old boy. I’ve just about had it with that prepubescent writing style of relationships in Asian movies and anime movies.

There were a couple good scenes in the movie. Out of all the songs, which are mainly performed by the two male leads, there are about two rewatchable songs. Disappointingly, Farah Khan – one of the best Bollywood directors and best dance choreographers – did not get to show off her talents in this movie. The dancers in the movie were underused and overshadowed by the weepy, sad faces of the lead actors. I had a better musical fix in Jackie Chan’s THE MYTH. But even in the two decent songs, they are just okay – nothing spectacular. I love musicals, but PERHAPS LOVE was a pretty weak musical. It’s okay that the movie is dark and dreary, but you still have to have some uplifting spectacular musical scenes thrown in there.

The acting was okay. Everyone got to do some crying scenes. But they just didn’t fit in the film. You could tell that they prepared themselves to cry and they just shot it. I have no idea why any of the characters were even crying.

The Media Asia Region 3 NTSC DVD is good quality at least. There are two versions though – One version has one disc and the other version is has two discs with photos and maybe other trinkets added. So both DVDs are the same and have the same DVD content.
The anamorphic 1:85 video looked really nice and sharp. There were a couple white spots that flashed up, but overall it’s got such nice video quality that you can watch it even if the movie sucks. For audio, there is Mandarin DTS 96/24 and DD 5.1. Both sounded amazing. I don’t have a high-end home theater so the DTS 96/24 sounded as good as a normal DTS to my ears. The English subtitles were clear. I found only a couple grammar mistakes, but nothing that noticable. Included in the extras were a trailer, teaser, making-of featturettes, two music videos, and a boring Bollywood male dance scene in the rain. All extras did not have English subtitles.

There is also a Hong Kong region-free blu-ray available.

Overall, PERHAPS LOVE is just a dreary, emotionless half-assed musical. It’s not that bad, but it could have been a really good movie if the story was interesting and if there were some spectacular musical numbers. It’s only worth watching to see the genius of Christopher Doyle.

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