Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Illusion of Love

Both my wife and I have been movie buffs since we were young. It started that way probably because that’s the only decent entertainment in town back then. I remember when we were in Muar, which boasted 5 cinemas, sometimes we ran out of Chinese movies to watch and had to settle for Malay movies (the Badul genre was popular then).

Actually, for me it started way back when I was attending high school in Singapore. My record was watching three movies in a day, but I did it only once. I remember one of them was Jeremiah Johnson by Robert Redford, but could not recall the other two.

When we moved to the States, we bought a monthly pass from BlockBuster, which allowed us to rent a movie at any one time. The new movies on rental are only made available every Tuesday. So in no time our rental caught up with the current releases and we had to settle for older movies. Some of my movie choices had incurred my wife’s displeasure for they were either too macabre or downright silly for her taste. From then on I always leave the movie selection to her. The most I would do if by chance the reverse happens is just not to watch the movie, but I must admit those times are rare indeed.

The movie watching took a back seat when we were settling in to our new home earlier in April. And since the Blockbuster monthly movie pass is pegged to the local outlet, we had to cancel it with the intention of opening a new one at the new outlet near our new home. We did not have time for that until now and thus began our new phase of movie viewing.

We went out to WalMart (or was it Target?) to buy a new DVD player (for $35/=). The old one we first bought with sound-surround features more than three years ago had quitted on us some time back and we had been relying on a portable DVD that was a gift from my brother-in-law.

The new DVD player set up, plugged in to the TV’s speakers, we settled back into the sofa and watched The Illusionist starring Edward Norton and Jessica Biel. Some of the illusion acts are entertaining but even more unbelievable than David Copperfield’s, nothing that the movie was set well before the last century where camera tricks were at best at their infancy stage, especially those on bringing back those from the dead to interact with the living.

But this is really a love story, one that has a happy ending. The twist at the end, at how the couple, who were childhood lovers but were kept apart because of the proverbial caste difference (what else but between a commoner and a royalty), plotted their reunion was easily the highlight of the movie, thanks to the guy’s magical prowess. All in all it has a high entertainment value, but low on any lesson to take home with.

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