The Valentine’s Day weekend does not just mean just tripping on heart-melting films that celebrate a certain kind of love. Here’s a listing of films on Netflix — some might make you feel all warm and loved, some might just break your heart, and some others might throw the spotlight on our bond with pets. That’s love too, no?
Blind Date (2015, French)
Director: Clovis Cornillac
This quirky rom-com totally belongs to the leads, played by Mélanie Bernier and Clovis Cornillac. They breathe so much energy into this thinner-than-wafer plot and make it seem bigger and more rounded than what it actually is. Telugu film Guvva Gorinka, which released last year, is a photocopy of this French delicacy. Blind Date twists the idea of togetherness by making its protagonists lean on each other for emotional dependency, despite a wall separating the two of them.
A Whisker Away (2020, Japanese)
Directors: Junichi Sato, Tomotaka Shibayama
If Haruki Murakami had written this film, he would have made the protagonists listen to jazz for sure. Everything that happens in A Whisker Away is dreamy and surreal. Can you imagine any other country making an animated film with a storyline such as this? The key element of the drama contains something that you mostly find in the realm of magical realism. It involves the relationship between humans and their feline friends — this is exactly the area in which many Japanese writers of fiction and makers of anime operate.
Tune in for Love (2019, Korean)
Director: Jung Ji-woo
This Korean film resembles the Hollywood blockbuster When Harry Met Sally… (1989) in the way it is structured. The protagonists meet and depart over the period of a decade, but fate keeps bringing them back together. It’s a slow-moving drama that gives importance to silences and pauses. The dialogues are frequently punctuated by the characters’ motivations and failures. This is not a story about winning or losing, since it tilts towards hoping — hope is what keeps the passion alive here.
Happy Old Year (2019, Thai)
Director: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
You can throw out more than half the things you own because they no longer serve their purpose, but can you delete the memories associated with them from your mind? It’s not really impossible, but it’s quite an uphill task. When a woman tries to do that in Happy Old Year, echoes from her past follow her to the point where she breaks down. Minimalism, as a philosophical and spiritual theory, sounds great and easily applicable in real life, but it’s hard to pull it off.
Starting Over Again (2014, Filipino)
Director: Olivia M. Lamasan
Starting Over Again is a cool title for a movie that starts off as a campy, over-the-top drama. Ginny’s (Toni Gonzaga) confidence in her ability to call attention to herself might remind you of Kareena Kapoor’s performance in the Bollywood blockbuster Jab We Met (2007).
Ginny is definitely her own favourite, even though she doesn’t mention it overtly. She thinks she can win her boyfriend again after leaving him high and dry in the past. Despite taking melodramatic turns every now and then, the conversations keep you hooked, as this is a film that doesn’t judge its characters for the decisions they make.