Man In Love – Review

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The remake’s stigma as a form of lack of creativity is shallow thinking. While the existence of “cashgrab remakes” is undeniable, there are a number of things that can be achieved from remaking old works. Call it modernization, the process of cultural transfer (especially if made by another country), experimenting with different visions, or correcting the shortcomings of the original version.

Man in Love, as a remake of the South Korean film of the same title which was released in 2014, is simply cashgrab. What can be explored from the drama of the formulaic tearjerker? It turned out to be a lot. Chih-Chung Chien and Lyra Fu as scriptwriters, know the pluses and minuses of the original film, then maintain (even strengthen) their strengths, while improving their series of weaknesses. Man in Love is like a successful remedial. Top Movie Site

The whole story is still the same, namely about the love of Ah Cheng (Roy Chiu) the debt collector, to Hao Ting (Ann Hsu), a girl who was “inherited” by her father’s debt. Instead of charging, Ah Cheng promised to write off Hao Ting’s father’s debt, as long as he was willing to go on a date. Although initially forced, after a while Hao Ting’s heart melted by the thug’s sincere kindness.

Exactly the same. Some of the shots used by the director, Yin Chen-hao, are also similar to Han Dong-wook’s. In the first two thirds, the modifications are indeed more subtle. For example, Ah Cheng and Hao Ting’s first meeting. From the first time their gazes connected, we knew Ah Cheng was already in love. As a result, the incident when he ordered his men to forcefully take Hao Ting’s father who was in a coma, only seemed like a bluff.

Compare with the Korean version. The lack of clarity about the male protagonist’s feelings, as well as the longer duration of events, make him look just as ruthless as an ordinary debt collector. This point is important, because the essence of Man in Love is, the process of falling in love with a good man, who is trapped in a bad environment, so that he becomes bad too, and does not know how to express love. Giving extra background related to Ah Cheng’s reason for pursuing a profession as a debt collector, helped strengthen the impression that he was actually a good person.

Those extra things are the main advantages of the film. Either extra sentences, or additional scenes, which, although short, have a big impact. One of them was when Ah Cheng expressed his intention to marry Hao Ting. How he understands what is precious to his idol, confirms the tenderness of heart as well as the sincerity of Ah Cheng’s love.

Ann Hsu’s appearance, who is good at handling the gradual gradation of Hao Ting’s feelings (from a cold and curt face, then a smile that he began to show even though he was still shy), was not much different from Han Hye-jin’s interpretation. It’s a different story when you compare Roy Chiu and Hwang Jung-min. Both are able to steal hearts, through similar but not the same acting. Best Movie

We know that Hwang Jung-min is an expert in playing the “chaotic” character, who at first glance is not friendly, but once he flashes a smile and sparkling eyes, he is able to break down the walls of the audience’s emotions. His style is in line with the typical South Korean tearjerker that slices amidst warm nuances. Meanwhile, Roy Chiu approaches Taiwanese cinema gangster figures who keep tragedy behind their machismo.

That is, in addition to “medication”, Man in Love also performs cultural transfer. This point feels right in a funeral scene. The differences in the funeral traditions of South Korea and Taiwan require modifications, but still have to maintain the substance and emotional impact. Here, Yin Chen-hao and the team have not only managed to defend, but strengthen. The moment was presented more touching. More sacred.

In the third act, modifications increase, and again, making this remake appear superior to the original work. The application of a neater non-linear story structure (resulting in a twist if you haven’t watched the Korean version), the omission of less important parts so that the narrative is more focused, to more grounded character motivations (example: the reason Hao Ting is furious at Ah Cheng) . Man in Love may still be a cliché tearjerker, whether it’s in the realm of romance or family drama, but it’s also proof of why all remakes shouldn’t be flattened and seen as a form of creative laziness. Movie Review

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