‘SECRET’ Film Review: A Tale of Music, Love and Closure.

Posted: March 8, 2012 in Film, Music
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Secret (2007, Taiwan) – Jay Chou

In every interests in life there are elusive things that no matter how hard you try somehow it always slips out of your grasp. For an athlete it might be that elusive championship trophy, for a writer a cover feature in a newspaper, for an artist that rare wave of inspiration to create a masterpiece and for a movie fan it can be that movie you waited and searched so long to watch. I have these dilemmas and maybe to almost everyone else because we all want something in this life, only not all the time that fate is on our side. That elusive movie on my part is the ‘Secret’.

Prolougue: SECRET is a 2007 Taiwanese film starring the talented Jay Chou, who also debuted as a writer and director for the film. It’s a simple but very beautiful story that transcends time, music, teenage dream, and LOVE. Jay plays a talented piano major student who just transferred into a prestigious Art School. On the first day he met Rain, who is also a piano major and a classmate. From there they developed a special relationship that’s been clouded with mystery because there are things Rain kept from Jay. The good thing is they both leave those secrets as it is and let them unravel in their own terms which allowed their relationship blossom.  “Let’s just cherish the moment that we are together.”

First half: For the first part of the movie viewers are immersed into a sweet love story one would come to expect from great Korean or Asian movies. You can’t help but like Jay and Rain’s chemistry; he lacking that passionate emotion but makes up by impressing everyone with his savvy piano skills and that Kaede Rukawa personna – the silent type, good-looking and insanely talented guy –  she on the other hand is this mysterious girl popping in and out of the story. These two make an unlikely romantic pair that successfully conveyed the sweet innocence of a  fist love and that first love kiss (nevermind if both actors are already in their mid-20’s portraying high schoolers).

I know I sound  a lil’ bit cheesy but the movie is something much better, it’s just the only way I could describe their beautiful romance. Strong point is its simplicity and the story’s ability to convey emotions not just thru character interactions between the lead characters but also with the movie’s overwhelming music display. You rarely see a movie using music, classical music , as its main element and not a background. There’s a piano battle scene between Jay and a character called the Prince of Piano, it was so intense and so fun to watch, err hear. Also one major highlight for the movie is the sweet piano collaboration from Jay and Rain, it was so magical, never seen anything like it since the Ice Dance scene in Edward Scissorhands. Hat’s off to the music.

Second half: In most Asian romance stories, the first half serves as the sweet icing in the cake setting up for the real deal of the story in the second half – where things got a lot serious, sometimes out of hand, and emotionally heavy as the story progress. It’s also the case for Secret, the second half is where you stop liking the story and move on to actually fall in love with the story. There the plot got thicker, the characters turned into lost souls and the tensions got going in its rightful cinematic place. And that’s when viewers get glued to their seats for good. ‘Secret’ is a classic case of Cinematic 101.

The twist came in sooner and downright unexpected at the pivotal one hour mark. I was surprised on how the story moved into a different direction as Rain’s ‘secret’ starts to unravel. I cannot divulge any plot details without spoiling the future viewers of this movie, but let’s just say Jay Chou made a ‘Midnight in Paris’ magic in his very first directorial début. This guy is one heck of a talent.

The Search: As I have said I was searching for this movie for two years. I spent a lot of hours by the Manong Dibidi stands of Quiapo, Binondo, Divisoria and Legarda in Manila, in Colon in Cebu, in the slums Ilo-ilo, and in the heart of Southern Leyte. I was even ready to buy an original DVD copy in major  video dealers, tried it in almost every mall I’ve been to. And I wasn’t stupid not to look for a digital copy on the internet. I did, I really did tried to browse on dozens of English language sites… blogs, mediafire, fileserve, media upload and finally torrents. Yeah, this movie is a pain in the ass to find: there are online streams with no subtitles, torrents without subtitles or no sounds at all,  zipped files divided into broken links and everything nastiness. That and more in two frustrating years of searching and I did it all for the love of a woman.

CLOSURE: Now that I’ve finally downloaded the movie into my notebook it’s when I lose her. RC and I planned on watching this movie two years ago after I recommended her “Cape No. 7” which was a fantastic movie too. And if you search for Cape No. 7, changes are  “Secret” comes into picture. My only regret is I couldn’t find it sooner for her. She’s gone now.  She would have loved seeing this movie, I could feel her giggle and amazement as Jay and Rain played together the piano. I can guess she’d cry somewhere in the movie, and I wish I could tease her for that. But hey I cannot turn back time and undo the bad things that fell. I cannot even tell a piano to take me into a place where I could meet her in a younger and healthier state. My only closure is that maybe in a different life, in a world where cancer is curable and all babies are born normal, I’d meet her, fall in love again and perhaps we’ll watch this movie together.

  1. Addie says:

    I’ll be honest and say that I was touched more deeply by the story behind the search for this movie than the actual movie itself.

  2. lapiskamay says:

    Thanks for dropping by Addie. 🙂 really appreciate your comment. You should watch the movie also, its really nice.

  3. Jacklyn Belo says:

    I’ve seen this movie. My brother has a copy of this but i have to admit that i did not really get the twist that i even asked my brother to explain it for me hehe sloww me 🙂 well, it has a unique plot and i love the music school setting which makes it more romantic.. sad to hear your story, it would have been a memorable movie date 😦

    • lapiskamay says:

      mabuti naman at nakita mo na ang movie Jackie! you’re a movie addict din cguro no at may kopya ka na ng ganito. I rewatched it recently, mas maganda pala panoorin d second time around, you might watch it again para ma.experience ulit ang magic kilig. ahahaha.
      Things doesn’t go our way, so no worries I’m glad I still found the movie.. 🙂

  4. Bagotilyo says:

    parang gusto kong mapanood to..


    cheesy .. ayiiieeee…

  5. Valencius! says:

    Napanood ko na to tol! Maganda nga. Though kaya ko sya pinanood kasi may taste ako for classical music. Maganda nga yung kwento nung movie, pero mas nakakatuwa yung kwento ng paghahanap mo. At sa tingin ko mas maganda sana kung nagtugma o nagtama nang landas yung kwento ng paghahanap at yung kwento nung pelikula. Pero malay mo naman tsong, dumating na yung pagkakataon para ibahagi mo yan sa magiging ka-love team mo. Hehehe rakenrol tsong!

  6. lapiskamay says:

    Rakenrol pare! hhahaha at natuwa ka pa sa paghahanap ko. para tuloy akong gagong naghanap sa long.cut na direksyon. hehe. Oo malay natin baka may maligaw ng landas patungo sa akin. naks naman love-team talaga. sana saen nalang si Sky. hehehe. Apir tsong!

    • Valencius! says:

      Ok lang yung mga “long-cut” na paghahanap tsong. Mas masarap sa pakiramdam pag nahanap mo na yung hinahanap mo e. Pag short-cut kasi, short-lived din yung sarap sa pakiramdam. Hehehehe

  7. lapiskamay says:

    oo pare, agree agree ako sa’yo jan. sobrang sarap ng pakiramdam nung nadownload ko na ang pelikula., at sobrang saya ko nung makita ko na. Talagang worth it ang hirap! laki nga ng ngiti ko nung natulog ako that night. hehe 😀

  8. I agree that Secret is very good and Kung Fu Dunk also has its moments but, thereafter, Jay Chou tries to become a big action star and it doesn’t work. Indeed, I now see news he’s not going to make any more films. So treasure Secret because it may be the best film he ever makes.

    • lapiskamay says:

      Initial D was surprisingly good, Kung Fu dunk was forgettable I couldnt even remember it’s moments. But Secret was something special. I wished he stayed on that personal genre instead going after the blockbuster mob-kungfu-action spectacles the world has come to love in Hong Kong cinemas. Jay’s got the talent to hit some nerves in down to earth stories, like his music does. So yes, Secret will always be treasured.

  9. I chanced upon this post by accident. Am a long time Jay Chou fan. I will be watching Secret. I hope the good memories of your friendship will make up for the loss of this dear friend.

    • lapiskamay says:

      Thank you Miss Jojie. I’m so happy you dropped by my page, will be looking up in yours too. The movie’s really nice, i hope you will enjoy it. She will always be remembered.

      • I love Asian films, so I will be sure to look it up. Mahilig din ako ng cheesy romantics. Iyakin nga ako kahit sa cartoons, how much more a Jay Chou film. Pero sorry, I couldn’t cry in Green Hornet. 🙂

  10. Awww. So walang ganito online? :/

  11. […] of musical or movies with lots of music in it but there are a few really good ones I love such as Secret and Rent. But one of the benefits of having good friends online is the chance to encounter movie […]

  12. […] across a priceless gem. That day was last night somewhere in Taiwan. They did it again (after Secret and Cape No. […]

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