Posted by: koolcampus | September 5, 2014

” BUT ALWAYS” 一生一世 (2014) MOVIE REVIEW. A Bitter-Sweet ROMANCE You can CRY your HEART out.












Love is a many-splendored thing, is it not?

“BUT ALWAYS” the film tracks a 3-decade old love-hate relationship, a break-and-mend romance that metaphorically, sails the stormy seas with you, tagging along an emotional baggage.

It peaks and ebbs through events from a tumultuous 1972 ( in Beijing) to a modernistic 2001. (in New York).

 An Ran (GAO YUAN YUAN) and Zhao Yongyuan (NICHOLAS TSE) are the protagonists in this tortuous romance.

The path of true never do run smooth, they will show you.

This is a rags-to-riches story, about a gawky hawker establishing himself from scratch to be  a successful entrepreneur.

Thanks to first-time director SNOW ZOU, the film skips the beat when it comes to explanations in most parts. You are left to do the guessing yourself.

The movie focuses on the fact that, even if you have achieved greater success, endowed with all the material trappings, life would still be inadequate.

You need love to complete the equation. Yes!

“BUT ALWAYS” is a haunting touch-your-soul movie. despite artistic flaws.

The pace is emotionally uplifting with a grim reminder that LIFE CAN BE WONDERFUL, only if we allow it to be.

YES, there’s no  such thing as permanence. We should live for the moment.

Living and dying is a rite of passage, a journey in this world, the very moment we are born.

And when it is time to part, everything is sweet sorrow, ripping your well-being apart.

It’s heartbreaking when it is time to bid adieu to someone who have always cared and loved you through the long years.

And who had stood by you through the test of time.

Here, I have more or less cracked the main plot of “BUT ALWAYS”.

The movie is about life, love, death and memories.

I cannot remember where I have picked up this sad poem:

” …  where would you go
that i cannot follow?
for how long must i wait
until we meet again?

what would i do
in times that i miss you?
where would i go
in times when i long to see you again?
how must i spend
the nights without you?

how do i bear
each morning that you’re not there?
shall i ever smile again?
will i ever laugh again?
will i ever face the world again
knowing that im not alone?

why must you leave me?
why must i cry these tears
when you’re not here
to wipe them all away?
why must i suffer
the empty days without my beloved?

why must i dream
without you by my side?
the days shall never be the same again
i will never be the same again … “

There is a quiet serenity and beauty in death.

But alas, in “BUT ALWAYS” the film director loses his ball-bearing on a disjointed script and weak lines that somehow, tend to irk rather than endear.

The pairing of NICHOLAS TSE and GAO YUAN YUAN saves the day. They are a pleasure to watch and they justify their roles.

“BUT ALWAYS” seems modeled on a 1996 “Comrades, Almost a Love Story” which depicts two mainland Chinese migrants who attract and repulse each other on separate journeys through Hong Kong and New York.

“BUT ALWAYS” refers to screen characters Anran and Yongyuan who are fated to be together, as much as they are doomed to be apart.

You be the better judge for the rest.

This is a Bitter-Sweet ROMANCE that will stir you.

And you might CRY your HEART out the moment you leave the cinema floor.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5

Local Distributor: GSC MOVIES



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