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By Cherry Nwe
When my friend excitedly came up to me saying I absolutely had to watch this movie, I stepped into the cinema with my hands filled with popcorn and high expectations.
Directed by Frankie Chen, Our Times (我的少女时代) follows our main character Lin Truly (Joe Chen) through a flashback of her teenage years in high school involving her younger self (Vivian Sung). We watch her team up with bad boy Hsu Tai Yu (Darren Wang) to break apart the love between Ouyang Extraordinary (Dino Lee) and Tao Minmin (Dewi Chien) for their own selfish love. Of course, nothing goes according to plan and the plot takes several twists as a new discipline master is introduced into the narrative, Lin Truly gets a makeover and the backstories to the characters are revealed.
The film manages to capture the essence of the 1990s, with inline skating rinks, personal diaries filled with information about our idols and poison chain letters, weaving them in skillfully into the plot of the movie. Lin Truly’s plain, good natured and awkward character reminds us of the fragility and simplicity of youth, times when nothing seemed to be more important than love. Yet, it is not just a love story. The film also reveals the courage and excitement of youth, such as standing up for something you believe in and putting in all your effort to achieve the results you want. Although predictable, the characters distinct and charming personalities manage to compliment each other and drives the plot forward. The film is undeniably nostalgic and relatable, perhaps why it was well received by audiences of all ages. My personal favourite part of the movie has to do with its soundtrack – the melodic song “小幸运” (A Little Happiness) has now become one of my favourites.
Films about teenage love are not uncommon, but when I stepped out of the cinema, I left with my hands empty, my heart full and my expectations more than fulfilled.