If you’re looking for a good musical romance in Chinese, Perhaps Love is your movie. It stars Asian heart throb Takeshi Kaneshiro and Superstar singer Jacky Cheung in a love triangle with Zhou Xun. The movie opens with Lin Jiandong (Takeshi Kaneshiro) arriving in Shanghai to co-star in a musical film with his old flame Sun Na (Zhou Xun) who is in a relationship with the famous director Nie Wen (Jacky Cheung). The musical they are all making together is about a young woman who loses her memory and is taken under the wing of a circus owner who falls in love with her, but her old love comes back for her and she is torn between the two men. Meanwhile in the real world outside the film, the actor flashes back to his romance 10 years earlier with his co-star and yearns to rekindle their flame. She is initially reluctant to the point of indifference to him, but his persistence pays off and their romances both on and off screen mirror one another.
The musical within the film reminded me of Moulin Rouge and the music though less prominent was totally up to that level. (Perhaps Love was made four years after Moulin Rouge, so I would not be surprised if the director was heavily influenced by it.) Jacky Cheung is wonderful as the director/circus owner singing many of the best songs in the movie. And Takeshi Kaneshiro is very easy on the eyes, so watching him as the heart sick lover is not a bad way to pass some time. A friend in China highly recommended this to me and I can see why. I am sure that if I spoke the language better, I would get it on another level, but even with the subtitles, I was entirely entertained. (Film release date: 2005)