A Mainland director Nie Wen decides to make a film musical starring his Mainland girlfriend Sun Na and Hong Kong actor Lin Jian-dong. Unknown to him, Sun has met Lin before ten years ago when she was a cabaret singer in Beijing. The two had a relationship together then, when Lin was a film student. Ten years later, now a huge movie star, Sun refuses to acknowledge they have met before.
Nie plans his musical, which includes a plot where a girl loses her memory and comes to live with a circus troupe. Sun plays the amnesiac girl and Lin her former boyfriend who tries to revive her memories. As the shooting of the movie starts, reel life and real life overlap. Lin tries desperately to win back Sun's lost love, while Nie discovers their past romance. Nie himself plays the role of the obsessive circus owner in the musical, who is involved in a love triangle. Just like in real life, he has Lin as his rival.
Ji Jin-Hee plays Monty, a fantasy character who has a number of different roles in the movie (such as a noodle shop owner and a reporter).
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Perhaps love is one of those instances. The movie by Peter Chan has been compared to Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge" and indeed it shares with this last the same theatrical flavour, between reality and dream. One can't help be reminded of classical operas such as La Traviata or Tosca, with elements of melodrama and tragic mingled with grand musical pieces and modern settings.
With the help of the music, this movie could be watched without subtitles and still be understood by those who don't know Mandarin. This goes to the director and the actors credit.
The plot is simple and very classical, but the style is new and the music original. Not an everyday movie by all means, but one which will linger in your memory.