Au Revoir Taipei

Literally titled "A Page of Taipei" in Mandarin, Au Revoir Taipei also an apt pun on one night in Taipei where male lead, Kai, gains a greater understanding of love and life through a series of somewhat unfortunate events in a single night.

Au Revoir Taipei watches Kai as the love of his life – or so, he thought – departs for Paris. Lovesick, he attempts to join his girlfriend, Faye, in the city of love.  But penniless and without support of his family, the dreamer works at his parents' noodles stall in the day. And by night, he loiters in a local bookstore where he attempts to pick up French, practicing in the seemingly ignored voice messages left for Faye. There, however, the poor dude catches the attention of bookstore assistant, Susie, a pretty young thing who is clearly attracted.

Come the night before he leaves for Paris with the money he got from local gangster, Brother Bao, who frequents his parents' noodles store. The only condition: He has to collect and deliver a dubious package to a designated address in Paris. Throw in some villains(-wannabes), an about-to-be-dumped policeman and a potential love interest for the lead, and we have one busy yet romantic night in nocturnal Taipei.

While the movie is considered slow-paced for many with a deadpan male lead to boot, the male lead is well backed up with a group of colourful supporting characters from local big boss Brother Bao, his nephew Hong who is anxious to inherit his uncle's evil doings, cop with neglected wife, Ji-yong, and Gao Gao who has a crush on his colleague from the convenience store.

The Taiwan-US production sheds a different light from the usual rowdy city scene; showing instead a peaceful, romantic side to Taipei with wonderful cinematography of the country's back-alleys and sidewalk restaurants. And intertwined with the little but real stories of its characters against the backdrop of sweet jazz music, Au Revoir Taipei is worth both a watch and an afterthought for those who do not mind its leisurely pace.

Related links: Wikipedia – Au Revoir Taipei, IMDB – Au Revoir Taipei

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