By Lim Yian Lu
Rating: PG13 (Some violence)
Length: 103 minutes
Director: Teddy Chin
Cast: Charles Tu, Zen, Daniel Chezi, Yuan Teng
In My Heart begins with the background story of two brothers, Ah Le, portrayed by Charles Tu — the only Taiwanese among the lead and supporting actors in the movie – and Ah Yuan, portrayed by Malaysian actor Yuan Teng. Both of them love music and even snuck into the school hall at night to play the grand piano. However, after an accident, Ah Le became depressed and shuts people out of his life.
Fast forward to Ah Le’s life at the university: he met his comical roommate Mr Car, portrayed by Malaysian singer Daniel Chezi, and fellow classmate in the Faculty of Music, Monster who is portrayed by Malaysian singer Zen. The three later formed a band to participate in the semester’s most important assignment — a music competition. As the relationship between Ah Le and Monster begins to blossom, the melancholic Ah Le, who is reluctant to join the competition, slowly opens up his heart. But ironically, life just had to give him a stab in the back.
The least expected outcome of this movie is that it is incredibly tear-jerking. Just when you think you are in control of your emotions, another scene comes up to trigger those tears. Specifically, it is about the relationship between Ah Le and Ah Yuan; the relationship between Ah Le and Monster; and the relationship between Monster and her father, portrayed by Malaysian singer Huang Yi-fei, best known for his song Million Dollars. So, don’t say we didn’t warn you: if you are catching this movie, remember to bring along a packet of tissue paper, or a handkerchief for a more environmentally friendly option, lest your face mask soak up all your tears.
On first impression, In My Heart feels like a musical instrument version of Pitch Perfect or Step Up. But the focus on music gradually shifted towards character development as the story progresses. Although it is entertaining to see people jamming, the character development which buffs up the plot is a more-than-welcome move.
The movie also sees quite a number of guest appearances of Malaysian singers, including Uriah See who is the mysterious, black-masked classmate. His pivotal line in response to Ah Le’s dejected opinion about music speaks nothing but words of wisdom: “Music brought me back to life. Whatever you would like to say, leave it to music and you will find the meaning behind it.”
In My Heart also comes with two original songs — the sorrowful theme song Missing You and the optimistic song What About Me. In the movie, Missing You is a song composed by Monster’s father, with the lyrics filled in by Ah Le. The last phrase in the lyrics of Missing You strikes particularly close the core of the movie: “No matter where you are, I love you.” On the other hand, What About Me is the song of Ah Le and Ah Yuan, which is also the piece of music they were playing on the grand piano in the school hall.
Although In My Heart is a romantic drama, it did not feel like one in the beginning. Half of the story was on Ah Le and Ah Yuan, while the other half was on Ah Le and Monster. When the story transitioned to the couple, a slight divergence of the plot could be felt. If anything, it is as if In My Heart has two mini stories whose only connection is Ah Le. Nonetheless, despite having very packed content, the movie runs only at 103 minutes which did not feel very long.
All in all, In My Heart will not let you down — it will let your tears come down though — and is definitely worth watching in the theatres.
4 out of 5 stars
Release date: 13 August 2020 (Singapore)