That's my Secret collection on the pic: piano books, DVD, OST album and novelisation!
This post is about my most absolute favourite and loved movie of all viz Secret, Jay's self-acted-and-self-directed movie in 2007, at the age of 28.
Although The Green Hornet was where I first noticed Jay, that was a Hollywood movie in which he was speaking English (not his natural lingo). I Googled him after that, read about Secret and headed to the video store to get a copy of the DVD....yup, I'm old-school. Anyway, the DVD was not expensive and came with some nice extra features too. :)
Prior to Secret, Jay had already acted in Initial D (2005) and Curse Of The Golden Flower (Feb 2007) and had also done countless music videos and even directed some of them.
It is no secret (pun intended!) that Jay is something of a control freak when it comes to his music and work and that naturally translated into him wanting to be in charge as a director for his own movie. And not only did he conceptualise the story, he also wrote all the music (with a little contribution from Thai composer, Terdsak Janpan), including the Baroque-ish piano theme which plays a key part in the movie.
Anyway, as I popped the DVD into the player and settled down to watch, I did not really know what to expect as I had refrained from reading too much to avoid being spoiled and.....
I was thoroughly swept away by the intriguing storyline, the wonderful cinematography and the brilliant piano-playing of Jay and Yuhao.
But most of all, it was the MUSIC of the score and soundtrack which permeated my senses and made this little movie an absolute gem! Classical, Baroque, pop, rock, soothing New Age, cutesy waltz, even a touch of bossa nova and of course, some orchestral backgrounds....Jay had everything covered!
Kudos to him for his very smart choice of subject matter for his directorial debut. After all, everyone can connect with a high-school romance (whether happily or not) and music is always a crowd-pleaser. Besides, the piano is his forte and the instrument rightly takes centrestage as a pivotal aspect of the story. Jay also pays tribute to his favourite composer, Chopin in the movie.
Jay's acting here was suitably understated but definitely an improvement from Initial D and Curse of The Golden Flower.
Special mention must be made of the rest of the cast, in particular Kwai Lun-mei and Anthony Wong.
I shall not go into details so as to avoid spoiling it for readers who have not watched it yet, but there are many little touches which put Secret notches above a mere campus love story.
Suffice to say, this is arguably THE favourite movie of most Jay Chou fans and is deserving of all the bouquets it gets.
For non-fans, this movie can be enjoyed on its own merits and should open your eyes to Mr Chou's creativity and talents.
Secret won Golden Horse Awards for Best Original Song, Best Visual Effects and Outstanding Taiwanese Film of the year in 2007....not bad for a newbie director, ya? ;)
Here is a link to a vid of the full movie on youtube, complete with English subs:
This is the MV for the theme song...defintely one of my favourites The simple piano intro is haunting and sets the mood so well before the soft rock chorus comes in. Absolutely deserved to win the Best Song award.
And for those who are interested to read more about the making of the movie and other details, here are some useful links:
The Wikipedia article is surprisingly good!
From the Jay Chou Studio archives:
Some of my fave images from the movie:
And some bloopers from the movie...Jay is utterly and adorably cute!
NB: Jay is now getting ready to direct and act in another movie, which he promises will have another intriguing storyline and lots of music!