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Trapped In a Maze of Love: The Story of One Man and Two Women

Trapped In a Maze of Love: The Story of One Man and Two Women

Posted October. 14, 2005 07:36,   


As the saying goes, love is about power. The one that loves more will be hurt and wounded more.

The movie: “While You Were Falling in Love” (directed by Paul McGuigan) reminds one of this saying with the peculiar structure of the movie. The movie relates the story of the bitter love of metropolitan man and women from the perspectives of three characters. The movie is about a man who is searching for traces of the mirage-like women whom he had fallen in love with and who then vanished like smoke. During his search, he meets a woman who has the same name as his ex-lover. The movie reveals the subtle relations of the three by moving back and forth between love and suspicion, and between memory and reality.

Matthew (Josh Hartnett) was working at a video rental shop in Chicago and dreaming of becoming a photographer when he instantly fell in love with a beautiful woman captured in someone`s camcorder left to be repaired. One day, he meets her on the street and follows her. Her name is Lisa (Diane Kruger) and she is a modern dancer. They fall in love, but Matthew has to leave for New York for his career. The day after Matthew proposed to her to leave together, Lisa suddenly disappears.

Two years later, Matthew returns to Chicago with his fiancée as an advertising executive at an investment company. The day before his trip to China, he puts his life on hold and starts rummaging through the city when he thinks he sees Lisa, his ex-lover, who walked out on him without a word two years ago, walking past him in a café. Matthew wanders off as if he was chasing after hallucination. In the end, Matthew finds Lisa`s apartment, where the scent of his ex-lover`s is still vivid in his memory. There, he unexpectedly finds that the apartment is occupied by a woman named Lisa (Rose Byrne).

This movie is basically a drama about a man who desperately misses his lost love and yet, it has the suspense of a thriller until the midway of the film. The meeting and parting of the two lovers are explained through a variation of the current time and flashbacks, and insertions of small and big reverse turns puts viewers in a maze. What is Matthew’s memory and what really happened? What is the reason that Lisa left Matthew? Was the woman who he met in a café really Lisa?”

The reasons that Matthew and Lisa broke up two years ago are revealed one after another just like layers of onion. As that happens, the film starts losing its grip, which was capturing the audience with the unexpected reversal. The film tries to give out all the answers at the end, and that kindness wears the audience out.

Hartnett, who starred in “Pearl Harbor,” delicately incarnates the inner self of a man wounded by a lost love. Kruger and Byrne, both of whom starred in the movie “Troy,” are charming.

What would you do if the man you instantly fell in love with loves another woman? Is all madness in the word love forgiven? These questions are left by the movie. The movie is a remake of the French movie “L`Appartement” (1996) in which Monica Bellucci starred as the main character. Its original title is “Wicker Park.” The film opens on October 13 and is rated PG 15.

Mi-Seok Koh mskoh119@donga.com