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Secret (2007)

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Zoey McKinney
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Secret (2007)

A friend recommended the movie Secret on Netflix, a high school romance / drama with a fantasy twist (spoilers to follow). The film stars Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou, and is also his directorial debut. It follows a high school senior piano prodigy and his relationship with a mysterious girl named Xiaoyu (Rain). As it relates to our seminar, Secret shows some interesting interactions between the genders as well as between generations. On the one hand, Xiaoyu and Xianglun’s relationship develops along somewhat traditional lines - they bump into each other one day, and spend most of the year flirting and teasing each other. Xiaoyu plays the damsel in distress, and Xianglun attempts to help her - by covering her when she is caught in the rain, by giving her rides home on his bike, or by bringing her something to help with her asthma. Ultimately, Xiaoyu dies, essentially while pining over Xianglun, and it is only his heroic actions that bring her back. Though Xiaoyu does have power in the relationship through holding her secret, her role in the movie is ultimately to be saved by the boy she falls in love with. Interestingly, in the final scene of the movie, Xianglun chooses to abandon his single father in order to be with Xiaoyu - certainly not a great example of filial piety! The relationship between Xianglun and his father, as well as that of Xiaoyu and her single mother, are interesting for their take on the single parent household, which we did not discuss very much this week. As a teaching tool, I think this movie could spark discussion about modern Taiwanese culture and family relationships. It also has an excellent score, with several scenes of brilliant piano playing. This film would definitely be engaging and appropriate for high school students and above.