Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Whoa, Watch It!

I feel like I’m on the verge of catching diabetes – that’s it, if saccharin-sweet movies can make your blood sugar higher. Ladies, if you gets weak on the knees from cheesiness, or if you like your ladies impossibly cute, or if you’re just in the mood of feeling good, then you must watch this.

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“Yes or No” is a Thailand movie. I’ve heard about it several times but I hadn’t had it in my mind to check it out mainly because I avoid the downloading. To you who don’t understand, I live where download rate of 30 KB/s is considered fast. Several days ago I read another recommendation for this movie, surprisingly almost the same time as when one of my facebook friends mentioned this movie in ‘Yucks! Lesbians!” fashion. I took that as a sign and watched this movie.

What I knew from those recommendations I read was that this is a good movie and is a light-hearted romance. I knew that the actresses were good looking at the very least, but my prejudiced side smirked at the stereotypical butch-femme pairing. Another part of me was suspicious, because this is an Asian movie after all, and we tend to have more drama. The last lesbian-themed Asian movie I watched was a Korean TV-movie called “Daughters of Billitis”. It was a movie well-done, but still had too much drama for my taste. Oh wait, there were also the classic Peony Pavilion starred Joey Wang (a really eye-candy movie…the cinematography is just so beautiful but I can’t remember the storyline that well) and the newly-released Sanubari Jakarta (good movie, but again, not one I would watch more than once) that I watched recently. So, yeah, I didn’t watch it until now mainly because of my prejudice. Guilty as charged.

Actually there are lots of drama in this movie, as well, but they’re not treated too darkly. There are more sadness than anger, and there are more forgiveness than jealousy. What I love about this movie is that it manages to stay true to its commitment to make the viewers feel good from beginning to end without giving up the storyline (some people might disagree on this, cause it’s like the writer is trying to make something happen but doesn’t follow through with it. I like it this way, though).

Talking about the storyline, this is a story about a college girl named Pie who asked to be moved to a new room because her roommate was a lesbian. Little did she know, she got a butch (or a tom, as they said it) as her new roommate instead. She hated Kim at the beginning, but slowly she warmed up to her. Kim did look like a boy, but I like it that she defied lots of butch definition. She was afraid of cockroaches and darkness, she liked cooking, and she even cleaned the room for Pie. She was also kind and caring, that she would be the ideal wife for many men if it wasn’t for the way she dress up.Of course she also fits lots of butch stereotypes, like playing games, farming (her major field of study), and playing ukulele/guitar, but I applaud the three-dimensional view of her character. Pie’s character could also be the stereotypical annoying princess in a lesser-skilled writers, but despite her high-maintenance trait, she’s also smart, loyal, and strong, which provided the bravery needed to pursue a relationship with Kim, I guess.

All of the other characters were treated with care, as well. There were Pie’s mom, who was highly conventional, although we never knew if she would someday change her view or not. But at least we never saw ugliness from her except for some harsh words. In the university we met Boy, who was a flamboyant guy, Jane, Pie’s ex-roommate who fell for Kim, and Jane’s new roommate who was silent most of the time. We also met Kim’s aunt who had a restaurant nearby and acted as the voice of reason, and Kim’s father who was the ideal father for any gay woman. Oh, and there was Waen, Pie’s admirer. Like Pie’s mom, he’s the bad guy here, but he did nothing that deserved my hatred.

I can’t judge the acting, cause it’s a movie from a different culture that I’m used too. Even the intonation of the speeches are not familiar for my ears. But as far as I can tell, the chemistry is definitely there and the attraction feels real. The soundtracks were great and served their purpose well. The cinematography was not excellent, but there were many beautiful scenes captured well throughout the movie. Overall, it’s worth trying at least once, just to see if you would like it.

I might be a bit biased in liking this movie because of its content. First of all, it’s about first love in a dormitory setting, something that had been taken to scenes before but usually ended in tragedy. It’s nice to see that for once, the teacher actually played part in getting them together instead of trying to separate them. Second of all, I can relate much about people judging Kim just by her appearance. In my life I’ve learned that how people treat me on street depends heavily on how long my hair is. With strangers, I’ll just turn a blind eye (and a deaf ear), but dealing with someone so important like… say, your mother-in-law-to-be, would be that much different, right? Third of all, this movie ends with something hopeful. Yes, it has a happy end, after all it’s a feel-good movie, but it doesn’t end with “and they live happily ever after”. It ends with something more like, “So, from here another story begins.” Just like the title says, this movie is just about the “yes or no”. We have yet to know what happens after.

So, whaddaya think? Interested? Wanna give it a try? (Psst, it can be found in the largest video website in the world, with the English subtitle, of course.)