'Your Name Engraved Herein': How love is treasured foreverLast updated on Jan 10, 2021, 07:47 pm
Romance has a sex-laden perspective nowadays, with filmmakers putting a straight couple through steamy chemistry on-screen to justify intimacy.
Either you agree to that notion or stay dated.
However, the Taiwanese romantic drama Your Name Engraved Herein by Netflix gives a much-needed respite from that stereotype.
For starters, this is an LGBTQ film that actually focuses on the relationship and not sex.
Martial Law ends in 1987 Taiwan and love blooms
Shortly after Martial Law ended in Taiwan in 1987, the youngsters felt a dubious sense of liberty in schools, where law enforcement stayed stringent under the garb of student welfare.
Two students named Chang Jia-Han (played by Edward Chen) and Wang Bo-De (played by Jing Hua-Tseng) strike an unusual bond amid homophobic classmates who mark, rag, and beat gay students out of loath.
How it starts: Birdy is one unpredictable fellow
Wang Bo-De has a cutesy nickname, Birdy, and has a similarly chirpy demeanor that often puts Jia-Han (or A-Han as he is preferred to be called in school) in false positions.
Birdy sneaks into Jia-Han's bed and apes the school discipline-in-charge right behind himself, shocking all other boys and stupefying A-Han, who starts feeling that Birdy needs to be protected from all evil.
A-Han is bowled over by Birdy's risky ways
A-Han has Birdy's back at all costs and soon starts depending on him emotionally.
Birdy is the path-breaker, the source of attraction A-Han just can't ignore as circumstances stop him short of confessing this surging change inside.
A-Han remains in denial as he experiences love for the man who robs him of his loneliness.
He's scared to self-introspect, as society doesn't approve of homosexuality.
Father Oliver guides the boys out of misery
Amid such troubling times, director Kuang-Hui Liu presents the silver lining in the all-boys school with Father Oliver, played by Fabio Grangeon, who inspires students to "live in the moment."
He is the all-purpose guide to the boys, as he also imparts swimming lessons.
It's during one such lesson when A-Han catches hold of Birdy's enticing vulnerability while catching breath underwater.
What a scene!
School starts accepting girls, A-Han becomes insecure
However, Birdy and A-Han's fate takes a helpless turn when the school starts accepting girls' admission all of a sudden, upsetting the school demographic.
A-Han fears isolation and thus stops short of protesting against injustice toward homosexuals, which reaches the tipping point of Birdy.
After facing humiliation for their rather effeminate military performance, Birdy explores a heterosexual relationship with girl student Ban-Ban.
Longer than necessary, but keeps you glued; Our verdict: 4.5/5
That is when hell breaks loose on A-Han, whom Birdy uses on several occasions to test his patience.
Jealousy brings him closer to accepting his sexuality upon several shameful, desperate, and violent encounters.
The film runs longer than necessary, but the performances, storytelling, and title track of Your Name Engraved Herein keeps you glued to the love story.
Thus, it gets a heart-warming 4.5./5