海角七號: Full of Charm – the Movie Review of Cape No. 7

海角七號 海報 Cape No 7 Poster
海角七號 海報 Cape No 7 Poster

You might not have heard of this Chinese movie, directed by Taiwanese director, 魏德聖 (Wei Te-Sheng). This romantic drama which goes by the English name of ‘Cape No. 7’ tells the story of a failed rock guitarst, A-ga, acted by singer 范逸臣 (Van Fan), who goes on a discovery of love and renews his career in a small rural town of Hengchun.

Starting with the violent A-ga destroying his guitar and leaving urban Taipei for a scenic small town with a beautiful beach, the movie introduces the main characters with a comical and relevant touch. Japanese actress 田中千繪 (Chie Tanaka) acts as Tomoko, an employee of a public relations firm and shows her frustration with her work and being stuck in the little rural town surrounded by people she found irritating. A-ga loses all his aim in life and got himself a job as a replacement postman, through connections from his stepfather who is a town council representative, nonetheless.

While out on his first assignment, A-ga was tasked to return a package which had an old address, but instead of bringing it back to the post office, he unlawfully opened it to find a series of old love letters written by a Japanese teacher who fell in love with a girl in Taiwan who goes, coincidentally by the name of Tomoko. Meanwhile, the Tomoko acted out by Chie Tanaka is kept back in Hengchun by her boss to take charge of a rock concert to be held in the beach resort of Hengchun. A-ga’s stepfather conveniently obtained a spot on this concert for A-ga on the pretext of wanting local involvement in the concert.

And thus, the story develops with the series of unfolding love letters acting as a pacer throughout the whole movie. The love between the main characters mainly Van Fan and Chie Tanaka develops and blossoms. However, instead of just focusing on these 2 lovebirds to be, the director also manages to bring out the characters played by all the other band members like the undying love of one to his wive, the passion to contribute to society for one elderly band member, the diligence of a salesman, and the enthusiasm of the drummer to what he does. What was charming about the movie was the simplicity of the storyline, the beauty of the setting and the rusticness of rural life in Taiwan.

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