BLUE GATE CROSSING

[CRITIC'S PICK]

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m.
JCC Theatre, $9

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Seventeen-year-old Meng (Guey Lun-Mei) has feelings for her best friend Lin (Liang Shu-hui), who has a crush on popular Chang (Chen Bo-lin), who falls for Meng. This common love triangle story never seems to get old, as is proven with Blue Gate Crossing, a coming of age film set in modern day China.

Director Yee Chih-yen (Lonely Hearts Club) treads into familiar territory with this film, with the potential to be contrived and boring. But there is nothing stale or old with Blue Gate Crossing, which includes outstanding, complex performances by all three actors. Lun-Mei is amazing as her character grows into self-realization that she is a lesbian. Viewers are empathetic to Cheng, who just can’t understand the impossibility that Meng couldn’t like him. Shu-hui also gives a fantastic performance as Lun-Mei’s lovable and cute best friend, Lin.

The downside to this film comes with the dialogue. The banter back and forth between Meng and Chang becomes repetitive, but that may very well be a cultural difference. Meng asks Chang once to kiss her to see if sparks fly — it’s a test to determine if she is a lesbian. After the kiss, when she decides that she really is a lesbian, Cheng repeatedly wants to know, "Why did you ask me to kiss you," to the point where it becomes annoying. But this is the film’s only downfall.

Blue Gate Crossing, in Chinese with English subtitles, reminds us about the first time we fell in love with that cute boy or girl and how we overcome the obstacles standing in front of us. This film is no ordinary undertaking, but a beautiful, honest look at young love. — KF

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