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Ivy Chen and Jasper Liu in the Taiwanese remake of More Than Blue (category IIA, Mandarin), directed by Gavin Lin.

Review | More Than Blue film review: Taiwanese remake of Korean melodrama is as frustrating as the original

  • Here is yet another film in which the protagonist implausibly hides their terminal illness from their loved ones
  • Its by-the-numbers plot ends with a ridiculous final twist

2/5 stars

While it is a faithful remake of the 2009 South Korean hit of the same name, More Than Blue from Taiwanese director Gavin Lin Hsiao-chien is also yet another frustrating melodrama in which the protagonist implausibly keeps their terminal illness hidden from their loved ones.

Who’s who in More Than Blue, tear-jerking Taiwanese film

In this story, rather than live out his remaining few years honestly and comfortably, a young record executive chooses to succumb to leukaemia in secret, disrupting the lives of everybody around him in the process.

Since the age of 16, orphans K (Jasper Liu Yi-hao, Take Me to the Moon ) and Cream (Ivy Chen Yi-han, Girls vs Gangsters ) have lived together as more than friends, yet not quite as lovers. They work together at a record label, where Cream is a lyricist, and offer emotional support for each other.

But when K learns that he is dying, he chooses not to tell Cream, fearing that his death will be too much of a blow.

Instead he sets out to find a suitable husband for Cream, zeroing in on a successful dentist (Bryan Chang Shu-hao), even going so far as to approach the man’s cheating fiancée (Annie Chen Ting-ni) and request she breaks off their engagement.

What follows is a typically preposterous tragedy of errors, as K inflicts untold emotional anguish upon himself and Cream through a series of increasingly convoluted antics.

Look at More Than Blue – Asia does terminal illness romances best


Of course, the film argues that K’s actions are brave, selfless and heartbreakingly romantic, buoyed by a histrionic power ballad from singer A-Lin, appearing as herself.

A ridiculous final twist only compounds the initial problem, escalating the couple’s baffling notion of romance to a level of confounding mutual idiocy. They may deserve each other after all, but as a paying audience, we deserve much better.

More Than Blue opens on November 29


Jasper Liu and Annie Chen in More Than Blue.
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