Cape No.7 is recently the most discussed box-office hit film in Taiwan. It has occupied the first place in popular charts for straight seven weeks so far. It broke the record hold by Ang Lee’s "Lust, Caution" last week and instead became the most popular local film in the decade. There is no great plan to do propaganda of Cape No.7 all the time, but now almost every Taiwanese has ever heard this movie from news, TV programmes, newspapers, blogs and forums again and again even if he/she has not gone to the cinema yet. The public praise is progressively accumulated by enthusiastic audience. According to a news report, some crazy fans even went to this movie nine times. However, I think it is totally insane as I noticed this news. In my opinion, Cape No.7 is good, but not good enough. There are still many details which could be processed more carefully and delicately. Nevertheless, blemishes existing is unavoidable for a new director’s first work. To review this film in a word, the defects do not outweigh the merits. It is still one of the best films in the history of Taiwan movies.
The main frameworks of Cape No.7 are two love stories. One has lasted for sixty years, and the other is going to begin. 60 years ago, a Japanese teacher was forced to leave Taiwan and his lover. He saved all his love into seven letters which were not sent until he died. All description in the letters is his everlasting missing. His daughter discovered the letters after he passed away, and thought them should be transferred to the recipient, so they finally arrived in Taiwan 60 years later. However, Cape No.7, the sixty year old address doesn’t exist anymore.
Aga is a talented singer and guitar player, but he is out of luck. He has felt desperate since hard working didn’t let his band become any further famous in Taipei the capital city. After smashing his guitar, he decides to return to hometown HengChun, the southernmost town with beautiful beach in Taiwan, with his broken heart. Because his step father’s prerogative, Aga easily turns into a postman. Although, he is unwilling to do his new job. Everyday he goofs off and stores the mail home that should be delivered including the seven love letters we mention above. Due to curiousness for the nonexistent address, Aga opens the age-old package of the seven letters and reads the 60 year lasting love story of the Japanese teacher and Taiwanese heroine, Tomoko.
Just like Aga, Tomoko who has the same name as the old love story heroine is also unsuccessful in her job. She is an unnoted Japanese model assigned to organize a local warm-up band for a super star beach concert. Undoubtedly, the gifted but depressed Aga is of course chosen to the new born band, but his insouciance soon clashes with indignant Tomoko. The collision between Tomoko and Aga further destructively affects regular practice. However, these two lonely uncheerful people start in rapport by chance in a wedding feast, and then she also knows another Tomoko’s story from the letters in Aga’s room. Love is growing between them as they are trying to find the updated address to deliver the letters that belong to the elder Tomoko.
Cape No.7 is a comedy, drama and romance. Much dialogue in this film uses Taiwanese and Japanese tongues to express pure undisguised emotions. Even the first sentence of all is involved with an F word in Taiwanese dialect. The sudden shock makes unready audience immediately concentrate on the plot. Moreover the sensational romantic love-confessing words "stay with me, or depart together" eventually told by reticent Aga further touch many sensitive people. There are not only such stereotyped affectional expressions in this film, but also more shots are used to describe the features of nobodies’ everyday life. Director Wei treats some experienced ugly things and serious topics in a humorous way, such as malfeasance, prerogative, colonization, gaps between urban and rural, and culture conflict, etc. The hardest thing in this movie is despite this film composed of so many actual elements, it still keeps funny and doesn’t change into a serious boring preaching textbook. Therefore, even without noted cast, it still appeals numerous local people and others who have understanding and are curious about Taiwanese culture to go to cinema just because it is really authentic and touchable. In addition, the background music and songs sung by Aga are also pretty melodious and good performance. Overall, the savour of Cape No.7 might be hard realized without knowledge about Taiwan culture. Nevertheless, it is still an opportunity if you are, by chance, interested in learning more about native Taiwan.
The actor playing Aga is Van. After Cape No.7 is on, he makes a swap if the box-office income goes over 100 million NTD, he will outright go swimming nakedly. So far the number could highly probable achieve four times than he gives, so certainly we won’t lose the chance to see his hip.