Fans of legendary Mandopop scribe Vincent Fang Wen-shan will know that his lyrics are anything but typical. The 44-year-old has written songs in classical Chinese, a song about a haunted castle with an overweight witch, a song about ninjas and even one about a eunuch with a headache. Yet, his directorial debut is decidedly more conventional, revolving around the themes of youth, love and dreams.
And it would seem as though even the great Vincent Fang cannot escape from the clutches of movie stereotypes. Rhythm Of The Rains stars actor-singer Alan Kuo as Alan, the struggling leader of an indie rock band. He falls in love with innocent university student Yu-jie, played by newcomer Ginnie Han, who has lost her hearing in an accident. In come the complications – Sharon (Vivian Hsu), a successful rock star who happens to be Alan’s college sweetheart, as well as Vincent (Ashton Chen), Alan’s introverted, artist roommate who has a crush on Yu-jie. The movie also features cameos from a variety of Asian stars, including Kang Kang, Terry Lin, Victor Wong, Patty Hou and Singaporean girl group BY2.
Rhythm Of The Rain is probably not a movie you’ll find on anyone’s top ten movies to watch before you die, or even one you’ll remember by the end of the month. There are moments, especially towards the end, where scenes get a little repetitive, and product placements become distractingly and painfully obvious. But that is not to say that the movie is without its redeeming qualities. The film, in particular its scenes of rain and nature, is beautifully shot. And Han, who was selected out of 20,000 applicants for the role, stands out as the vulnerable damsel in distress Asian audiences seem to love.
Hopefully, now that he has had a taste of filmmaking, Fang will be given the opportunity to experiment with the depths and limits of his imagination and creativity in his next film. After all, what is the point of listening to, reading or watching a product of Vincent Fang Wen-shan, if it does not fully reflect his unique genius?
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