Sunday’s always remind me of cozy moments spend in front of the television watching some of my favorite golden movies, with family or friends.
In the current scenario, since it is becoming increasingly difficult to catch up on quality content; The BL Xpress endeavors to bring you some intriguing choices, handpicked by our team members. We are here with the final edition of our popular weekend feature “My All Time Favorite BL Movies”. Without further ado, let’s check out their individual watch list!
Krishna Naidu’s Favorites
L.O.R.D and L.O.R.D 2 (Legends of Ravaging Dynasties Season One and Two)
L.O.R.D is a pretty intriguing interpretation of the live action drama “Lord Critical World”. Directed by Jingming Guo (who has adapted his own series of novels, Tiny Times), L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties is set in the sacred mainland of Odin; the series mainly focuses on the water county, also known as Atlantis/Aslan Empire. There are Seven Lords and one Disciple for each lord, working with the Silver Priests, to carry out their assignments. The first edition follows main lead Chiling’s journey as he is selected as Lord Seven, Silver’s Disciple. As Chiling and Silver began training together, their relationship morphs into something more. Unexpectedly, they come across some shocking secrets related to the Monster Origin. The second edition pretty much follows the prequel as Lord Silver and Lian Qian (earlier Lord Five’s Disciple and currently the Fifth Lord herself) team up with Chiling and You Hua to rescue Lord Gilgamesh. Lord Gilgamesh was Silver’s Lord who was presumed dead. As they try to rescue Gilgamesh, the Lord’s and their disciples are collectively endangered by the Silver Priest’s treacherous schemes. The season ends on an abrupt note where Silver is pronounced dead and Chiling ascends to Dukedom. Looking forward to watching the third edition, where we might get answers to a lot of questions. The most intriguing aspect about this series is the incomparable chemistry between Silver (Kris Wu) and Chiling (Cheney Chen). It is sublime, riveting and heartwarming.
Hello Stranger The Movie
Although the drama is my one of my favorites, I wasn’t expecting much from the movie version. Despite that, Hello Stranger The Movie managed to surprise me with its unique storyline and irresistible casting. The sequel follows the drama’s storyline. The “Young Padawans” (Mico came with his gang, Kookai, Seph and Junjun) are attending a writing camp “Paniti Camp” at a beach resort. Shockingly, Xavier is shown attending the same camp with his girlfriend Crystal. There is a lot of friction and tension between our sweet couple. The film majorly focuses on their break-up and reconciliation, as both Xavier and Mico reassess their feelings for each other. While Tony Labrusca does a phenomenal job depicting Xavier’s hesitancy, confusion and fears; JC Alcantara embodies Mico’s pain. You can’t help but feel sorry about their situation. The film imparts life lessons pertaining to self realization and acceptance. This movie will leave you shattered as well as reminiscent.
My Dear Tenant
A heartwarming film which will leave you wounded with its brutal honesty and tenacity. Director and Screenwriter Cheng Yu Chieh’s powerful interpretation of relationships in modern society ties the three main characters Jian-Yi (Mo Tzu-Yi), Hsiu-Yu (Chen Shu-Fang) and Yo-yu (Bai Run-Yin) to Li-Wei (Yao Chun-Yao). The film draws comparison to popular Japanese BL “His”. Despite the fervent similarities in the plotline, Dear Tenant derives its narrative from Lin Jian-yi’s selfless love for his late lover’s Li Wei’s family. He acts as tenant who is looking after his old landlady Hsiu-yu (Li Wei’s Mother) and her nine-year-old grandson Wang Yo-yu. When Hsiu-yu dies under mystery circumstances, Yo-Yu’s uncle, Wang Li-gang is shocked to find that his nephew has been legally adopted by Lin Jian-yi. The ownership of his mother’s apartment has been transferred to Yo-yu and as such, Li-gang suspects foul play. Mo Tzu Yi’s powerful portrayal of Lin Jian-yi is heartbreaking. His unwavering love and devotion for Li Wei extends to the entire family. The ending might leave you confused, but Dear Tenant is indeed a must-watch. The phenomenal performances by the main actors are riveting, while the tear inducing moments will render you speechless!
Method is a devastating yet emotional journey that portrays the unhindered romance between veteran actor Jae Ha (Park Sung Woong) and flippant idol Young Woo (Yoon Seung Ah). Director Pang Eun Jin has created an intricate universe where these two contrast personalities converse and their interactions lead to forbidden intimacy. Set amidst the backdrop of theatre, the film revolves around Jae Ha’s persistent efforts for perfection. As such, rookie actor Young Woo’s careless attitude grates on his nerves. Unable to stand Young Woo’s apathy towards theatrical work, Jae Ha grabs hold of him during one of the rehearsals and delivers a power packed performance. Young Woo is left spellbound and thus begins their journey. Young Woo endeavours to learn the art from Jae Ha and as they grow closer, the lines begin to blur. But reality strikes closer to the surface and Jae Ha’s unfortunate decision tears them apart. Park Sung Woong portrays his character with utter conviction and an honesty that hinges on his exemplary acting skills. Yoon Seung Ah’s Young Woo on the other hand is vulnerable as well as mysterious. These two have a sensual chemistry that is combustible and addictive. Truly spectacular!
Kaila Genevieve’s Favorites
This 2019 Vietnamese film is a must-watch for anyone interested in the dramedy genre. With multiple film festival awards adding feathers to its cap, “Goodbye Mother” by Trinh Dinh Le Minh, explores the struggles of coming-out to a traditional Vietnamese family, and the social repercussions associated with it.
Nâu Vân, who had left for the US to pursue his higher studies returns home to his village in Vietnam for taking part in the memorial ceremony of his deceased father. His family awaits him at the arrivals section of the Airport, as he strolls down with a handsome young-man (Ian) following closely behind. Ian is Vietnamese-American, whom Nâu introduces to the family as his “friend”. Little does anyone know that Ian is, in reality, Nâu’s boyfriend. They met and fell in love in the States, where they had more freedom to be themselves, without constantly having to keep their guards up against the judging eyes of Nâu’s orthodox family. And now the time had come for Nâu to come-out to his mother about his queerness, which is also his primary intention behind coming home with Ian.
Nâu’s mother, Mrs. Hanh is a sensible, level-headed woman who runs their household which consists of 7 members, including Nâu’s senile grandmother, who suffers from amnesia caused due to ageing. The grandmother immediately takes a liking to Ian, whom she mistakes for her own grandson and it is heartwarming to see their relationship blossom amidst the chaos that gradually begin to unfold in the Hanh family.
Nâu continuously puts off the discussion he originally intended to have with his mother as he is constantly pestered about marriage and grandkids, by family and friends alike. These events cause growing strains in the secret couple’s relationship as well. Mrs. Hanh’s maternal instincts pick up on hints, which attain final affirmation as she chances upon Nâu, post an argument between him and Ian, in the outdoor restroom of their family home.
Caught in the middle of all this disorder and confusion, Ian suffers alone. The grandmother, as a pleasant surprise, comes to the comfort of a hurting Ian and openly voices her support for the men’s relationship, even as they are publicly humiliated by the rest of the family.
In the end, things bode well for the duo as Mrs. Hanh has now eased into and accepted the reality of her son’s queerness. Nâu and Ian bid “Goodbye” to Nâu’s mother, as they take off to the US, where their future awaits them.
“OMG are they a real couple!?” – if you’re a BL enthusiast, this statement will resonate with you on a cellular level. Whether BL actors “feel” anything for their co-star after acting in intimate scenes with them over a period, is a standard question that every BL actor is asked, at least once in their career.
Method is a Korean movie, directed by Bang Eun-Jin, that brings to the big screens a novel plot-mix, combining the concepts of “method acting” and LBGT relationships.
Jae Ha is a veteran theatre actor, who is married with a wife. He is set to play the lead character in an upcoming play alongside newbie actor and popular idol, Yeong Woo. The theme of the play itself is the romance-tragedy between two men, whose roles were to be played by Jae Ha and Yeong Woo.
Yeong Woo initially presents an arrogant, unbothered and rebellious attitude towards the entire cast and crew during the play’s first script-reading. Jae Ha’s annoyance gradually builds as Yeong Woo persists with this attitude, until the former lashes out and takes control, grabbing Yeong Woo and jolting him into the seriousness of the situation. This interaction immediately brings about a change in Yeong Woo who begins to behave thereon. The charm of theatre begins to get to him after each practice session, and he begins to develop feelings for his co-star.
Jae Ha also notices his own feelings alter and evolve as time goes by. He no longer feels the thrill of intimacy with his wife; his mind is filled with Yeong Woo.
Once they both become aware of their respective feelings for the other, the two actors decide to put their magnetic attraction for one another to the test. Forbidden love tastes sweeter – there is no better way to describe their situation than these words.
Now the movie moves on to the bigger question of whether it was all “method acting”. Like many method actors – Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, etc. – have confessed, how their roles reconfigure their bodies, minds and thoughts to align with that of the character they depict on-screen, would it be possible that what Jae Ha and Yeong Woo felt for each other was merely an illusory feeling caused by their “method acting”? Would that explain Yeong Woo’s psychotic attitude towards the end of the movie?
These are some very strong, thought-provoking questions that this wonderful movie gets the audience thinking about. A must-watch on my list, Method will always have a respectful place in my heart.
We will be back next week with yet another exciting new feature. So till then, keep watching this space as we bring you more exclusives from the Asian BL World!