I actually felt rather diffident when I decided to write about this movie. No, it’s not because it’s a bad movie but rather because I don’t feel I truly understand the movie. However, after watching it a second time, I have a little more understanding about the movie, so here I am.
This movie, has gotten multiple nominations including, Best Director, Best Film, Best Screenplay…etc and the 2 leading actress jointly won the Best Actress award in the 53rd Golden Horse Award, while the director, Derek Tseng won the Best Hong Kong / Taiwan Director award in the 8th China Film Director’s Guild Awards. Not only that, this film has got high rating across a few movie rating sites.
Despite that, I find it having a rather common plot: 2 best friends, who were inseparable from young, fell in love with the same guy during their teens. The 2 best friends, Li Ansheng and Lin Qiyue are very different. Ansheng is the rebellious one while Qiyue is the good girl, more quiet and studious one.
Qiyue met a guy in her school, Jiaming and they quickly got together. He was of course introduced to Ansheng and Jiaming took an interest in Ansheng.
Sensing the relation developing between she nad Jiaming, Ansheng decided to leave the town with her suitor – a guitarist. Qiyue went to see Ansheng off when she saw her with a pendent of Jiaming.
The story then follows the postcards exchanged between the 2 female leads, sharing their experience and thoughts and a jarring “habit” of Ansheng forever signing off with “send my greetings to Jiaming”.
The story quickly fast forwarded to 4 years later whereby Jiaming left and ANsheng returned. The girls went out on a trip to Shanghai together, and the differences in their approach to life surfaced. I actually don’t get why they have to get into that rather heated arguement in the restaurant, but how I interpreted it is that: It could be jealousy. Remember the part about the postcard whereby Ansheng is forever signing off with “greetings to Jiaming”? Another reason I feel could be this: Ansheng, due to her living a vagabond life, would use some “unscrupulous” ways to “survive” while QIyue is quite unaccepting of her ways.
The girls went separate ways once again.
This is however, not the only quarrel between the girls. There was a bigger one that reveals much more about how they see each other.
I actually find myself not able to pick up the subtle “hints” in the movie that tried to show the hidden desires of both the girls. In fact, Qiyue seems to surprise me when they revealed her desires. But this of course could be me not paying enough attention to details (as I always do).
However, I’ve to say that both the actresses, Sandra Ma (Qiyue) and Zhou Dongyu (Ansheng) did wonderful job in portraying their characters and it is their performances and chemistry that brought life to their characters. The movie would never be this watchable if any of them is replaced, and I have to say they deserve the Best Actress.
Soulmate is a movie that is pretty enjoyable. However, I wouldn’t say it is one that you would want to watch it more than once (I did, but did quite pull through the second time round).