Tam Nguyen explains her love for a Japanese romantic drama in the first entry of our new My Favourite Film series.
Tam Nguyen

15 Jun 2010 - 3:29 PM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2014 - 4:08 PM

Tragic love stories always linger in my mind long after the film is over… because I wish the lovers had the happy fairytale ending. The movie Sky of Love (Koizora), like Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, explores the innocence, naivety and hardship of young love. I love Sky of Love because of the extraordinary love they shared and I want to believe that a love like theirs exists in the real world. The love story deeply affected me because they were passionately in love but circumstances meant the time they shared together was too brief. I always find I need a box of tissues beside me when I watch a Japanese drama movie. Japanese filmmakers always know which heart strings to pull, while they take you on a gentle emotional rollercoaster.

The love story revolves around Mika, an innocent kind-hearted school girl and Hiro, a bleached spiky haired bad boy. Hiro takes a liking to Mika; he secretly gets her number and starts calling her regularly. Mika wants to know who he is, but he teases her and does not reveal his identity. Mika slowly opens up to the mysterious and sensitive guy on the other side of the phone. On her birthday, Hiro meets her in person but Mika cannot accept that the 'scary silver haired guy' in school was the sweet guy she has been talking to all this time. She ends up running away from him. However, she eventually accepts that Hiro is the one she shared that special connection with on the phone, and so there love story begins.

Like many Japanese drama movies, Sky of Love shares common themes like a love triangle, a nasty villain, tragedy and sacrifice. The world tested their blossoming love at extraordinary lengths. It was moving to watch them face the storm together and also heartbreaking to see how cruel the world treated them. The two leading stars had a lot of chemistry together. They gave convincing and mature performances that is bound to make you shed many tears for their heartache. One of the memorable scenes was when Hiro seeks out Mika's parents' approval. You really feel for his character because he really made an effort and sincerely wanted to marry Mika. However, as tough as they had it, sometimes it felt that Mika's parents were not hard enough on the young lovers.

It makes you wonder, why do love stories of good girls falling for the wrong guys have such appeal? Like Romeo and Juliet, or Edward and Bella from Twilight. The answer: because they have to fiercely fight for their love, and of course we want their love to triumph. It was hard not to get emotionally attached to Mika and Hiro. Although some parts in the movie were predictable, the story went through many unexpected turns and that made the film refreshing.

It was interesting to learn that Sky of Love was originally a cell phone novel. It was so popular that it had over 20 million people reading it religiously. When Sky of Love was republished into book form, its success continued and it became the number one selling book. Shortly after, a movie and TV drama adaptation followed. From all the success that Sky of Love received, it is evident that there is something special about this story that resonates with people. Be prepared to be swept away by Sky of Love, and remember to have some tissues nearby.

Tam Nguyen

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