Starting in 1985, we are introduced to three Taiwan high-schoolers Mabel, Liam and Aaron. All of them are activists rebelling against the martial law during the turbulent period of 1980s Taiwan. On the personal side, Mabel loves Liam a lot, but Liam doesn't really have a feeling for her. So she ends up falling in love with Aaron instead, who constantly pursues her once Liam tells him that she is not his girlfriend. Liam, in the meantime, is actually a closeted homosexual who's been longing for Aaron. Another few years pass and they have graduated from college and are working now. Aaron has a boyfriend who is also married but he still longs for Aaron. Aaron ended up marrying someone else but he and Mabel are also having an affair on the side. Among the trio, its only Aaron who thinks of himself and is practical while Liam and Mabel’s emotions rule them. Finally Liam makes a painful decision to stop loving Aaron after a confrontation following prolonged repression. He refuses to suffer anymore. And as a friend this is where he steps in for Mabel and makes her understand that she also has a choice. They are forever friends and their sublime love ends up Liam becoming the foster father for Mabel’s twin daughters, who happened to be Aaron’s kids as well.
This film is one complicated love triangle which will make your head spin upon watching the movie, but in a good way. The film is told in a more poetic style. Character evaluation of Mabel from tomboy, to daring college student a very sad woman is brilliant. Aaron and Liam are again brilliant actors. Apart from the 3 actors, there is an openly gay character who sees what’s happening between the trio, is a rational observer of life and always wants to help his friends. Its a roller-coaster ride of varied emotions ranging from happiness to heartbreak with such genuine affection. The film is sad yet beautiful
and needs patience. You need to get into the skin of the characters and feel them. The only problem is that there are scenes that as an audience you may have to interpret, because they are not so obvious. Scenes like the one where Liam finally reveals to Mabel his affection towards Aaron, and Mabel is also devastated to realize she and Aaron can never be together during their college years is heartbreaking.
This film makes you remember your friends, how friendship can sometimes easily lead to love, how love is not always easy, how friendship evolves with time. Its essentially a poetic story tangles in the complexities of life. (6.5/10)