I was not planning to watch 《我的少女時代》, well, at least not in a cinema. Having watched the trailer, the theme song MV and interviews with the cast and crew, I was not the least impressed. However, rave reviews from unexpected sources prompted me to give the movie a chance, which I did, and the experience surprised me.
As someone who ingest quite a fair amount of Chinese entertainment news, I walked into the cinema with full knowledge of the movie plot, including spoilers. I did not have much expectation from the movie and I certainly wasn’t expecting myself to be so moved by the movie that I was tearing for a good 30 minutes during the movie.
Set in the 1990s, the movie tells the story of two teenagers and their first love, which really is not the point of the movie. As I was watching the movie, who ended up with who was less important compared to who became what in the process.
In this movie that is more about the coming of age, it invites reflection about identity, about the kind of person we wanted to be when we were teenagers, and if we did become that person in the end? Or have we compromised and submitted to the harsh realities of this world? It extends an invitation for us to choose again, to choose wisely while we still can. And that brought tears to my face as I recalled what I lost with each compromise and the hardships endured each time I held on. Nobody told us in school that no matter what choices we make in life, hurt will always follow.
In this movie where friendships is a key theme, I could not help but think about friends who have come and gone, friends very much like the supporting cast in the movie. In our secondary and JC years, we would remember the heartthrobs and the nerds, representatives from the two polar extremes of our social circle, but what about the in-between? Those who sat with me as we copied Maths homework, who skipped PE with me to hang out, who dragged me to the library and reading rooms to make sure I did pass my exams… Those who were friends during these precious growing up years.
The movie reminds me of an era past, a phase in my life that I miss and can longer return to. It reminds me of who I was, who I wanted to be and who I hope to become, serving as a lighthouse to help us check our bearings. It reminds us to take another look around us, to seek out friends who have been standing beside us all this while, friends whom we might not have been very appreciative of. We cannot undo the past and bring back friends whom we have lost touch with, but we can do something to keep our friends who are still hanging around.
Above all, I am thankful for all the 徐太宇 who were once here and whom I was too distracted to appreciate or cherish. Thank you for being part of my life and for making me a better person. 因為曾經失去所以學會了珍惜。
In so many ways, this movie is timely. One month after returning to full-time work, the movie affirms my decision to step away from a pretty smooth sailing career and go down a path less glamorous if not less travelled. It makes me glad that I did take that year off to focus on the more important things in life than work. It makes me remember anew that giving time people is always infinitely more important than anything else. Period.
This new journey that I am on is not without challenges or doubts, and there are days where I do get weary. However, I am now clearer about who I am, what I want to do and where I want to be. And I am glad too, that over the years, I have consistently chosen to be true to myself and to have met advocates and mentors who have allowed and supported me to do that.
As Thanksgiving (Nov 26) approaches, I am glad (and thankful!) that there is truly much to be thankful for, including this movie that made me bawled my eyeballs out.
为什么没有发现 遇见了你 是生命最好的事情
是谁风里 雨里 一直默默守护在原地
来不及感谢 是你给我勇气 让我能做回我自己