Also known as “The Secret That Cannot Be Told,” Secret is singer/songwriter Jay Chou’s directorial debut.
Jay Chou is Ye Xiang Lun, a newly transferred music student majoring in piano. On his first day, while he was being toured around by Qing Yi (Alice Tzeng), he hears a beautiful melody being played that leads him to the old piano room. In there, he meets Lu Xiao Yu (Kwai Lun Mei), another piano major. But when Xiang Lun asks her what is the song she was playing, she said that it was a secret that cannot be told. Soon, they became friends and Xiao Yu falls for Xiang Lun. Due to a miscommunication, Xiao Yu sees Xiang Lun kissed another girl and she disappeared.
Jay Chou is definitely one of the hottest singers in China today. Not only that, he is also a brilliant composer. But apparently, he didn’t want to stay like that. Wanting to broaden his horizons, he delved into directing. He had experiences in directing music videos but Secret is his first time directing a film. He also co-wrote it and stars in it. Pretty good for a first timer and I must say that at the very least, it wasn’t a typical love story.
On the other hand, Jay Chou doesn’t fair very well as an actor. He has charm but it doesn’t translate well on screen. He doesn’t know how to effectively convey different emotions on his face. Two scenes where he stands out though were the piano duel scene and the last scene where he still plays the piano even when the building was being demolished.
Jay Chou also wrote some of the music for this movie and they were good. I also liked it that he was a Chopin fan (like me!) and he made a lot of tribute to this composer. I enjoyed the piano duel very much. They played Chopin’s Waltz and Black Key Etude.
Jay Chou’s leading actress is Kwai Lun Mei who I didn’t actually find that pretty at first. I thought that Alice Tzeng was a better choice. However, I realized that Alice Tzeng is perfect as the third wheel because it supplied additional tension. Kwan Lun Mei, on the other hand, proved to be a good actress. She started really plain, though mysterious, and soon after become charming and affable. When her story was revealed, we see a deeper level to her character and she started to have an effect on the audience in a very good way.
Other characters that were also a stand out in this film include Xiang Lun’s father played by Anthony Wong and Zhan Yu Hao, who is called the Prince of the Piano, who had the piano duel with Xiang Lun.
The story being shrouded in mystery is the film’s strongest point. Audience is captivated by the vagueness of the female character and it’s what would drive the people to watch until the very end.
However, there are a lot of loopholes in the film which is sad to say, glaringly obvious. Secret is built on a set of rules, but near the end, when everything is revealed, Secret disregarded these so-called rules. Credibility that was from the very start treading on a shaky ground, crumbles.
But that part is also the most poignant part of the film, and the one part that built my resolve that I actually love this film despite all its flaws. It had me crying until the end. Kwan Lun Mei was very good in here and Jay Chou started to show something different. The parts that I like include Xiao You communicating with a whiteout, Xiang Lun’s father running after Xiang Lun when he realized that it was his son that Xiao Yu had fallen in love with, and Xiang Lun playing the piano though he was already bleeding and the building was being demolished.
By and large, the movie’s cinematography was pleasing and the music was commendable (of course, most of it is classical!). Kwai Lun Mei presented the audience with a convincing performance. And, even though Jay Chou needs to polish his acting, I have high regards for all his efforts for this movie. I am actually excited to see him do another film. There’s a rumor that Secret Part 2 is in the works. And like what I twitted before when I was watching the movie, since Jay Chou can play kickass classical music, I am already his fan!
So, despite all of its conspicuous slipups, Secret managed to deliver a moving love story.
*pic from Google