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I Will Make You Mine (2020)

By: Khashayar Bavarsad

Interestingly titled "I will make you mine" is quite a treat on the possibility and the challenges of the title’s promise. This is done in a stylish way.

To begin with, it is in a gorgeous black and white. This is a pretty daring move considering the somehow mainstream romantic nature of the drama. The other thing is that the complications inherent in relationships are mixed and merged with the magical creative process of songwriting by two of the main characters, played by real-life singer-songwriters, Goh Nakamura & Yea-Ming Chen, who are supposedly being themselves keeping their own names and identity in the fictional world of the movie. Though this seems to be a sequel to Dave Boyle’s 2012 (also in black and white) comedy, Daylight Savings, you are exposed to enough background information in subtle conversations to watch it as a separate movie from the aforementioned film.

What is presented here is as humane as the best in the genre. Think of John Carney’s Once, then add the look of Anton Corbijn’s Control (both from 2007), and still there’s more to this one because there are non-musicians who are also equally involved in the thick of things.

There are some nice twists in the plot here and there, though at times they’re too hasty to believe. The acting is generally good. The first-time director Lynn Chen, who has also written the screenplay, plays one of the main characters as she did in Daylight Savings, but I especially liked the real-life musicians, Goh Nakamura and even more so Yae-Ming Chen, who are so effortlessly real and easy to sympathize with. Sometimes, you really feel like you’re sitting with them in the room, listening to how they collaborate on writing a tune.

The soundtrack is phenomenal. It begins with a performance reminiscent of a solo David Gilmour concert with all those pedals and effects lying around down there on the stage and the immaculate sound of the acoustic guitar strings. The songs might remind you of many other things too mostly from the best of pre-smartphone music. From the jingle jangle of the late 1960s Laurel Canyon musicians to the voice of Jeff Tweedy, or from the genuinely emotional wordings of Cat Power to the otherworldly rhythms of Elliott Smith.

That being said about the vibe of the melodies, there’s still a peculiar and I may add realistic focus on how much time we, artists or not, spend on technological gadgets and devices. This is shown in an unbiased way. Just something to observe and think about rather than blame for this or that.

Grade: B+

I Will Make You Mine, directed by Lynn Chen, will be available on digital platform. You can order it HERE


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