Love is a never-ending pursuit. When looking for love, the mind is unconcerned about the body. The sense of love takes precedence over the passion of love, and this is where the movie becomes a classic love story.” “Eternal Summer” is one of the most traditional love stories made in recent history, with the scent of love triumphing over sexuality.
Jonathan (Bryant Chang), Shane (Joseph Chang), and Carrie (Kate Yeung) are three pals who have different sexual orientations and have different relationships. Jonathan and Shane have been friends since childhood, and through time, Jonathan develops feelings for Shane that morph into an emotional desire that is impossible for Jonathan to resist. Carrie, a Hong Kong girl, appears, and she is attracted to Jonathan.
Both of them enjoy a date in Taipei, but when physical attraction takes over, Jonathan fails to show his feelings for Carrie because he is actually attracted Shane. When Carrie and Shane start dating, the story takes a turn, and Jonathan gradually realizes the truth about his perplexing sexuality, but he refuses to embrace it.
Carrie comes to terms with Jonathan’s decision, but she can’t stand watching him struggle to communicate his true feelings for Shane. Still, that’s only because Jonathan is still perplexed and unsure about how people in his immediate environment, as well as society in general, would react to his coming out as gay. Not to mention the possibility of jeopardizing his friendship with Shane if he told him about his genuine sentiments. Carrie tries to persuade him to make a decision, but things work out and Carry becomes Shane’s new girlfriend.
The story unfolds with a new “love –triangle” though, this time through a gay shade of love. Bryant Chang is fantastic as Jonathan, expertly captures his sexual confusion and feelings. With his intelligent acting skills and deep cutting representation of a young guy yearning for genuine love with a confusing sexual identity, he outshines all other performers in numerous situations.
Eternal Summer is a well-made film, but it lacks the emotional impact that a film on sexual orientation should have. Jonathan’s love for Shane is accepted only under the veil of companionship, as the filmmaker raises many concerns in his mind but fails to address them at the conclusion. However, Eternal Summer is a brilliantly made film that is memorable and thought stimulating due to its excellent production and freshness in the narrative.
The employment of a background music all through the film makes it more lyrical and aesthetic, as well as making it easier for the filmmaker to maintain the film’s pace. Charlie Lam’s cinematography is above standard and occasionally exceeds expectations, with some stunning long views in the verdant countryside or against a blue ocean backdrop. However, Hsiao-Yun Ku’s editing lacks urgency, and the film slows down on several instances.
Taiwanese films are nearly unheard of, so we should consider ourselves lucky if one makes it to the big screen. Nonetheless, we must conclude that originality must have been lost along the road in Leste Chen’s (“The Heirloom”) most recent work.