If there is one festive movie you should watch this Lunar New Year, it has gotta be《冲上云霄》Triumph in the Skies.
The film follows the hugely popular drama and its sequel which are adored for their heart-warming love stories that revolve around the people in the aviation industry.
A fan of the series, I was smitten with its sophisticated plot, memorable characters, majestic cinematography, breath-taking sceneries in beautiful locations, and the portrayal of the workings of the aviation scene.
Although the big screen instalment takes on a fresh storyline and cinematic direction, the movie still oozes the fundamental elements that made the drama a hit back then.
With only 100 minutes to offer, the movie was stripped of the convoluted love tangles and elaborate aviation happenings, down to three simple love stories of Sam and TM, Branson and Cassie, Captain Cool and Kika.
Depending on what you choose to focus on for the movie, you’ll either love it or hate it.
For me, it’s the former and here are my six reasons for why you should catch the movie:
#1 Spectacular Cinematography
Like the drama, the cinematography of the movie is spectacular with the exquisite pans and tasteful macro shots. Coupled with the warm filters applied in several scenes, it’s hard not to fall in love with the movie.
#2 Celebrated Cast
The star-studded ensemble consists of the existing cast Francis Ng (Samuel Tong), Julian Cheung (Jayden a.k.a Captain Cool) who are joined by Louis Koo (Branson) Sammi Cheng (TM), Charmaine Sheh (Cassie) and Amber Kuo (Kika).
Although the new additions did not get sufficient exposure to fully develop their characters, I thought they were really well picked for their roles, from Louis as the rich, adventurous aviation empire heir, Charmaine as the demure damsel lost in love, Sammi as the rocker chick with a soft side to Amber as the spunky carefree lassie.
#3 Simple and Sweet Plot
The plot may appear to lack depth, which is exacerbated by comparisons to the 40-episode drama, but I find it more realistic and just the right acuteness to be romantic without being over melodramatic. Like love songs, the best ones usually are usually the simplest.
The underlying themes of love withstanding the test of time, illness and contrasting personalities are charmingly accentuated in swoon-worthy scenes such as that of Branson unhinging Cassie’s drain-lodged heel in the sprinkle of the London rain, and that of Jayden wrapping Kika is his coat when she was feeling chilly in the windmill meadows.
#4 Comic Relief
As in the drama, the character of Samuel Tong provides much of a comic relief. I find it impossible not to crack up at the subtle expressions of Francis Ng on his otherwise stoic face whenever his solemn no-nonsense disposition is challenged.
#5 Beautiful Scenery
Carrying on the tradition of having breath-taking location sets, the movie features the picturesque scenery in the lands of England.
#6 Captivating Soundtrack
The drama propelled several songs to popularity; the most famous of which has to be the opening theme 岁月如歌. Every time I hear the opening notes of the song, my mind never fails to conjure images of cruising amongst the clouds.
In the movie, there is also the sprinkle of sentimental English songs that are eased into the background to accentuate the mood of the scene.
[Chords] 郑秀文 - Over The Rainbow
[Chords] 陈伟恩 - Hold on, Watch on
While on the topic of drama-to-movie adaptations, the missus raised a rather blood-curdling thought:
What if《夜市人生》was adapted into a film *shudder*?
Triumph in the Skies opens in cinemas on 19 Feb 15.
Many thanks to Clover Films for the invitation to the movie premiere.