Posted in Fantasia 2013, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Music, Reviews

The Rooftop review – Fantasia 2013

RooftopThe Rooftop / 天台 / tiān tái (2013)
Director: Jay Chou ; Screenplay: Jay Chou
Cast: Jay Chou, Wang Xueqi, Eric Tsang, Alan Ko

This is a retro, neon-coloured blast from the past where romance, martial arts, dance and music combine and collide to create one of the most energetic films that I’ve seen so far. It’s courtesy of perhaps Taiwan’s biggest popstar Jay Chou who wrote, directed and starred in this feature. It’s an impressive addition to his cinematic resume.

The story reminds one very much of Romeo & Juliet (without the double suicide) so there are really no surprises in the story department but the romance is nicely developed. There are the poor people who live on the rooftops while the rich people live on ground level. Wax (Jay Chou) lives with his best buddies on the rooftops and falls for an actress whom is indebted to the lead actor of the movie she is in the process of filming. I didn’t mind the villains becoming really despicable and cutthroat in the final act but I do think the ending is very dumb but not quite a deal breaker.

I have ambiguous feelings about the songs. I feel like most songs did not grab me but I think I would need to watch the film again to properly assess the song quality since I was a bit tired when watching this in the theatre. The dancing is usually cheesy and funny but like the songs I quickly forgot about them. The fights scenes, however, I do remember so they must have been decent. I did enjoy this in the theatre but can’t really recall much of it when I think about it.

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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