There I am walking into what is obviously a romance by myself with my ‘Kill All Humans’ hat on ready to fall asleep after a particularly lethargic day at work. Which is a pretty strong indicator of the strength of the film when I can say Sky of Love is actually worthwhile seeing.
The plot follows two people who live in very different worlds who meet by accident via short wave radio and, with the help of the anonyminity of the medium, reflect upon their experiences of love and fate. Despite what it sounds like, this is no tale of “star crossed lovers” destined for tragedy — if anything, the film maintains a very strange balance between the two leads that keeps the film from devolving into a soppy affirmation upon the “power of love”.
Xiao Jia is falling in love as Jia Hui is falling out when they they encounter each other and the relationship that develops sees them in constant contrast to each other such that the ending is both happy and yet tainted with a despairing resignation that makes the resolution somewhat phyrric.
I am not sure whether it is the strength of the direction and script or just Ken Zhu’s charisma but it is really difficult to hate his character, Jia Hui, despite the very despicable nature of the character and his actions as compared to Gigi Leung’s much more innocent Xiao Jia. I think it is perhaps I may have more empathy for Jia Hui’s stoic cynicism but even I can still see he is a bit of a bastard most of the time.
What the film does suffer from is that it really is quite predictable. I don’t think I’d be giving too much away by saying there is a plot twist you can quickly guess at once the the two leads are introduced. It also seems strange that a supposed Hong Kong film is set entirely on the mainland and I do get the impression that the version I saw was a dub from Mandarin but the difference is quite subtle and hardly noticeable if you are focussing on the subtitles. On that point though, there are one or two moments in the film, there is some written information that you just wish they translated but didn’t.
Despite this, Sky of Love is really quite enjoyable and would appear to be another chip away at my angry cynical demeanour. Who knows? I might even be considered normal one day…