Written & Directed by: #JackyYeap
Beginning with a wide shot of an open field and a single man in the centre of the frame. “Single” being the right word since he’s just about to be dumped by his girlfriend, who creeps into the frame moments later. A visual clue of what’s to come before any word of dialogue is spoken. The man (or The Boy as he’s credited) requires a new hairstyle, otherwise he can almost never be appreciated by another. Still, this doesn’t change his opinion on his hair. Perhaps someone will prove his now ex-girlfriend wrong and appreciate him for who he is.
We follow The Boy (Jared Liew Wei Yang) as he wanders around town, with an inner dialogue vocalising his interesting outlook on life. He goes home, cries (or tries too) and heads out for some food. There’s some charm in the writing throughout this little film, and it comes from the budding conversations between The Boy and the new girl he meets (Jaycn Wei Yee Teng). They share in a short evening stroll together, she mentions a boyfriend, he mentions his ex-girlfriend. There’s a considerable restraint from running off together, though. Both have their reasons to not engage with the other, going no further than a friendly interaction. The two seem to get along just fine, but when she must leave, The Boy remains in place and the inner dialogues from both become one.
What this film really succeeds in is the calm but not so collected nature of falling in love. The longing. The questioning. Everything that comes with it. It accomplishes a fair amount in twenty minutes. Though the story does seem thin, the other elements hold it all together, such as the cinematography. Howard Tai opens the film with the aforementioned wide shot of the field and creates a constant feeling of separation throughout. Most shots have characters sat far apart from each other, or a small fraction of the frame filled with the world around them. If you were to switch off the subtitles, you could watch the story unfold visually, and pick up on most of the emotional beats just the same. The editing felt incredibly laid-back, writer and director Jacky Yeap chooses to linger on subjects longer than usual, either as an attempt to get every last detail out of each performance, or just simply a stylistic approach. Regardless of intention, it works well.
Falling in Love Again doesn’t pursue anything new or ground-breaking, but it does have a nice look and feel. I’d like to see what else Jacky Yeap works on in the future. Perhaps an expanded version of this story or something entirely new, but that’s for time to tell.