Taiwan/China, 2011, colour, 1.85:1, part 3-D, 95 mins.
Director: Kong Wenyan 孔玟燕.
An okay tribute to Taiwan rock band Wuyuetian [Mayday], partly in 3-D and with fictional vignettes.
The present day. In Guangzhou, curried fish roe restaurateur Fattie (Lin Xue) has a young daughter, Lele (Tan Yile), who desperately wants to attend the Shanghai concert of Taiwan rock band Wuyuetian [Mayday]; Fattie tries in vain to buy her a ticket, but then his apprentice cook Xingzai (Wang Wenxiang) comes up with a solution. In Taibei one rainy night, taxi driver Xiaoqi (Ren Xianqi), who’s just been dumped by his girlfriend Xiaoyuan, picks up a passenger, Xiaonai (Liu Ruoying), who’s just discovered her boyfriend has another woman. Xiaoqi comes up with a solution to her unhappiness, and both discover they are Wuyuetian fans. In Shanghai, a bike messenger (Zhang Yujian) is diligently saving for a ticket to the Wuyuetian concert – but not for himself. On the day of the concert, he, Xiaoqi and Lele briefly meet by chance outside the venue. Between these stories are concert performances by Mayday shot during the “DNA” tour.
The first Chinese-made 3-D concert film, Mayday 3DNA 五月天 追梦 is basically a compilation of hit numbers shot during the “DNA 2009-2010 World Tour” by Taiwan alternative rock band Wuyuetian 五月天 [Mayday], interspersed with three fictional vignettes about fans (played mostly by name actors) trying to get tickets for its 2010 Shanghai concert. With only the concert footage (and a few scenes in the vignettes) in 3-D, some 40% of the movie is actually 2-D. Those sections, however, still have to be viewed through 3-D glasses in order not to appear diffracted, making the whole experience a disorientating one on a viewing level. Also, the effectiveness of the 3-D in the concert scenes is hit and miss: the number L-O-V-E, with vocalist Chen Xinhong 陈信宏 among the audience, provides a you-are-there feeling, while others are either so-so or jazzed up with CGI feathers or floating rocks.
The song selection, distilled from footage shot at Singapore, Hong Kong, Taibei and Taizhong concerts, is smart and hit-loaded, effectively edited if unoriginally shot. The fictional vignettes, which also include Wuyuetian numbers on the soundtrack, are neatly constructed and don’t overstay their welcome: even the first of the trio – the longest at 18 minutes – benefits from good comic chemistry between Hong Kong veteran Lin Xue 林雪 [Lam Suet], as a Mandarin-speaking Guangzhou restaurateur, and his younger co-stars. The star vignette is the middle one, with Taiwan’s Liu Ruoying 刘若英 [René Liu] and Ren Xianqi 任贤齐 [Richie Ren] in a compactly structured story about two Taibei love-rejects that’s both funny and charming, with both actor-singers at ease with each other and the 3-D kicking in for the end sequence in which Liu’s character vents her anger. The third vignette – the briefest at only nine minutes – is a throaway foible that largely showcases Shanghai with its bicycling sequences.
Individual members of Wuyuetian make jokey cameo appearances in the vignettes, thus keeping the band’s profile high throughout the whole endeavour. As a 3-D spectacle, Mayday 3DNA is unremarkable, and not even shot in widescreen; but as a complete package it’s an okay diversion for an hour-and-a-half.
Presented by Double Edge Entertainment (TW), B’in Music (TW), Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Cultural Communication (Beijing) (CN). Produced by Double Edge Entertainment (TW), B’in Music (TW), Gene Young 3D Image (TW), Filmagic Pictures (TW), Bulky Animation Studio (TW), Great Entertainment (TW).
Script: Kong Wenyan. Photography: Che Liangyi [Randy Che], Zhang Rongji. Editing: Li Nianxiu. Music: Wuyuetian [Mayday]. Art direction: Chen Tao-yu. Sound: Du Duzhi, Huang Shijie. Special effects: Lin Zhimin. 3-D direction: Qu Quanli. 3-D post-production: Tao Kailun. Concert scenes direction: Zhang Rongji, Gao Bingquan.
Cast: Wuyuetian [Mayday] [Chen Xinhong/A Xin/Ashin, Wen Shangyi/Guaishou/Monster, Shi Jinhang/Shitou/Stone, Cai Shengyan/Masha/Masa, Liu Yanming/Guanyou/Ming] (themselves), Ren Xianqi [Richie Ren] (Xiaoqi, Taibei taxi-driver), Liu Ruoying [René Liu] (Xiaonai, taxi passenger), Lin Xue [Lam Suet] (Feizai/Fattie, Guangzhou restaurateur), Tan Yile (Lele, Fattie’s daughter), Wang Wenxiang (Xingzai, restaurant trainee), Zhang Yujian (Yujian, Shanghai bike messenger), Wu Boying (Yujian’s colleague), Cai Shengyan, Liu Yanming (customers in Fattie’s restaurant), Wen Shangyi, Chen Xinhong (taxi passengers), Shi Jinhang (bike messenger’s customer).
Release: Taiwan, 16 Sep 2011; China, 23 Sep 2011.
(Review originally published on Film Business Asia, 25 Sep 2011.)