Aga, a band singer, returns to Hengchun with frustration. Tomoko is a Japanese model assigned to organize a local warm-up band for the Japanese super star beach concert. Together with other five ordinary Hengchun residents who were not expected to be great or anything, they formed an impossible band.

Also Known As: Седьмой мыс, Przyladek nr 7, Hái-kak chhit-ho, Haijiao qihao, Cape No. 7, Hai jiao ci hao

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  • ana-clara-da-paz
    ana clara da paz

    I had a high expectation on this movie. Now I have seen it, I really think this movie is overrated. The Japanese girl Tomoko character is such a strange character. She is always yelling and her Chinese is very bad which is killing the movie. The over rapping with war time scene and current story line is not working at all.

  • natasha-miller
    natasha miller

    On the outset, I decided to watch this movie alone as I failed to find out a companion; however, a friend working in the same building with me happened to have interest, so we went to see it together. I did not have much expectation on this film and the story is indeed mundane. As a romance comedy, 130 minutes seems to be a little bit long, but actually, i was fully engaged in the movie as the countryside life was gently rolling out to us, appeasing the curiosity or expectation for any extraordinary plot. The picturesque field and the grand sea of profound blue, together with the townish alley or lanes, vividly constitute a tranquil and catching living scene. What impresses me more is the awesome music, the music as backdrop to the monologue the man writing on the letter to his girl on the deck over half-century ago mixed with the affecting words is magnifique mais sympathique (“magnificent but sympathetic). As I mentioned above, the story seems to be inevitably mediocre, even the narrative form is clichéd, however, the mixture of these elements succeed to outdo all its peers. I think the main theme is about ” hometown”. Young people leave their hometown for big cities to pursue career or fortune while developers from cities go to the countryside to make investment in buying sea resorts and building hotels blocking the beautiful sea from country people; the local elder people can do nothing but feel regrettable for that territorial sovereignty and cultural sovereignty are losing to the metropolitan fashion and the young are not willing to stay to develop the hometown. It’s exhilarating that Aga finally succeeded with genuine music in his hometown.

  • angela-guerrero
    angela guerrero

    It’s really a wonderful story. I myself live in Taiwan and I just don’t like it here. BUt that movie was taken in Tainan and it was really well. I loves it . IT felt really magical and all. THere were a few humor and comedy…. ITs actually funny and romantic. Also it’s really nice with the songs and letters from years ago. IT’s beautifully written. I recommend it way thru!!!! Its wroth the money. There are beautiful scenes of Taiwan which was really great. SO many Taiwanese have been crazy about it. They even sell the old Mao glasses online for 10000nt or so. And the guitar. Now the lampposts that Aga hit in Taipei is famous too.

  • aila-niemi
    aila niemi

    I don’t know Taiwanese, I didn’t know the foul word “LP” actually means testicles. But I am surprised that Hengchun can be a beauty through the camera and thought of the director. I am 100% delighted by the life of this quiet coastal town. And I am also made astonished that Japanese people would be there to have jobs and shows. Thanks to this movie, I otherwise got to know all these about this small place of Taiwan.I have forgotten since when from day to night and dusk to dawn, the word “globalization” is like the charm of a chanting medium, a witch, that hypnotises the entire world. Now the laureate crowns on Cape No. 7 (Bollywood movies, Korean films too) bring in a sheer fact that slaps the face of it: people prefer “localization”. Local peculiar taste, regional special savour rather than the showy astronomically figured Hollywood mega-production. The unified globalization equals a boring formula without any varieties. What’s the word of Obama’s Campaign this year: CHANGE.

  • olaf-pachuta
    olaf pachuta

    Cape No. 7 is a beautiful romance base on real life actual scenario although the actual story was just the letter came from Japan seeking an old address and the rest was fiction but this shows how great the director were able to transform a simple romance into colorful tear dropping romance movie.At 2008 when I first saw this movie I brought a DVD version for my friend back in South Africa with English Subtitle. He was able to understand most of the movie and translate only few subtitle he could not make any sense (Those were you have to be native speaker to understand)By KDGonK

  • leonor-becerra-beltran
    leonor becerra beltran

    Ah how to begin.First its too long at 129 minutes but thats the only real negative along with being subtitled.Its a love set in Taiwan between a Japanese advance girl coming to set up a beach front performance by a Japanese male singer but she needs a local opening band act.However if you get through the standard “The Commitments”and “The Full Monty”early sort of storyline.AND that is an improbable love story superimposed over a lost one 60 years earlier with tinges of Casablanca thrown in,another film reviewed here prior, but in reverse.You have to see it to get it.So its worth the time even if it seems silly and obnoxious in the beginning. Oh and the piano music”1945″is as good as that music from”Cairo Time”

  • sigita-nagys
    sigita nagys

    The most heart touching part is absolutely the letters. Please read my comment if you didn’t get it. The letters tell the story which happened long long time ago, that after the war, a Japanese man had no choice but to follow the order, retreat from Taiwan back to Japan and leave his beloved Taiwanese girl behind, without confronting the feeling that the girl had for him. He had no choice, because there was war between Japan and Taiwan (China), no one could be happy whether he stayed or took the girl with him. During the sea trip, he wrote down all his love and regret with the purest words. Then he hided the secret deep deep inside his heart, and acted for the rest of his life as if nothing had ever happened. The letters were never sent out until being discovered by his grandchild after his funeral. And in the present time, Aga -who’s from Taiwan, and Tomoko -who’s from Japan, dare show out their true feelings for each other, and they have the courage to say that they want to be together. Similar situation, totally different endings! Also the two stories are told in different ways. The plot is designed really well! The contrast between the past and the present made me realised how happy and lucky we are to live our life in this relatively peaceful time.

  • athanasios-kostolzin-b-sc
    athanasios kostolzin b sc

    Grown up in Taiwan and now living in US, I think the movie is great although the story line isn’t that impressive. I also doubt if anyone other than Taiwanese people can fully understand/appreciate the jokes in the movie as many jokes are very specific to Taiwanese culture. Also, the characters are just like people you are gonna see in the street everyday(other than Taipei, which is the biggest/most modern city in Taiwan). 10 minutes after the movie starts, I felt I am one of them already. It is some attachment that foreign people might not be able to get it.I wish the movie can have great success overseas though. If they can even make it to US movie market, I am gonna buy 20 tickets and ask my friends here to watch. 😀

  • jarno-colombo
    jarno colombo

    Analysis of this movies phenomenal popularity in Taiwan has cited cultural, historical, social and political reasons. To the general audience outside Taiwan, this movie’s appeal comes from its affecting story of a group musical oddball underdog, a proliferation of likable characters (from pop superstar to humble “little people”) and a duo of parallel love stories (which reminds me, strangely of “Possession” (2002), an unlikely yet plausible comparison).I’ll start from the end. While people may have different view on whether “Cape no. 7” is sufficiently engaging throughout its entire 129 minutes of running time, the vote seems unanimous that the last 15 minutes is a climatic finale well worth waiting for. By that time, the audience would have developed a firm empathy with some (or likely all) of the members of the local (a quaint little resort town by the ocean in the south of Taiwan) band assembled in a most haphazard fashion to do the warm-up for a visiting Japanese pop super star. With a recruiting process that reminds you of “The magnificent seven” and training process that reminds you of “Dirty dozen”, the final rock band that is supposed to showcase local talent comprises all kinds of odd ball characters imaginable (and, indeed, unimaginable) – from a preteen little girl as cool as cucumber at key board and an 80-year-old man who, deficient in his attempt to learn the bass guitar, sneaks up with his tradition Chinese instrument the full-moon (referring to the shape) lute that blends surprisingly well with the pop group. What the climatic finale reminds me of is another concert scene at the end of a Japanese movie called Yomigaeri (or Resurrection).The lead of the band is a talented pop musician Aga who, failing to get his break, gives up on music and works as a postman. The audience however knows where his heart is, seeing his fingering the string that ties a parcel as if it were a guitar string. The love story is of course his, and one that takes a format that always works – a relationship that starts as a fight. The girl is a Japanese wannabe model who, ending up being an organizer-cum-PR-person for the concert, gets stuck in this forsaking place. Two unhappy people throw in a situation with endless potential for conflict generates ample comic scene that eventually leads to romance. Parallel to this is a love story told through letters written by an old man who recently died in Japan and now sent by his daughter to an unknown address which Aga has to deliver too.I started by mentioning three things that will appeal to the general audience. In addition to the music and the love story, there are so many characters in this movie that it will take a few pages to describe them all. Many of them have their own stories, and even those of whom we know very little generate interests in their own various ways. And there is no villain in this movie.This is huge crowd pleaser that has something for almost everybody. To me, it’s the rapport between the members of the band and their final coming together to make exhilarating music.

  • aldis-avotins
    aldis avotins

    Excellent! A great work for the director! Lovely story happening in a small village. I just cannot stop until the last minute. Until the last concert, the breathtaking plot explode! As a man, I am almost crying during the concert part. This can be the best romance during these years. The scenery of the bay is also perfect in the movies. So far as I can remember, that is one of the most beautiful town that I have ever visited. This movie also includes a very special emotion for the people at town. A pure love tunneling through the movie, which is not easy to see in other movie. There is no doubt that I will recommend all my friend enjoying this movie.

  • elizabeth-burch
    elizabeth burch

    Based on the skimming of the synopsis alone, I thought Cape No. 7 bore some resemblance to an upcoming Japanese film The Shonen Merikensack which was featured in the recent Tokyo International Film Festival. Well, at least the characters have to come together to form a band, and are managed by a lady. And that this film had Japanese elements in it too. But this is a Taiwanese movie, and its success back at home, being its #1 film of all time, has undoubtedly raised the curiosity level as to what actually made this movie tick, so much so as to garner numerous nominations in this year’s Golden Horse awards.Being Taiwan’s submission to next year’s Academy Awards to compete in the Foreign- Language category, this film got no love by the distributors/censors here as it was deemed that the PG rating, with 2 badly butchered cuts for coarse language, overruled the NC16 version. Granted they would want this to be accessible by most, it was nonetheless badly edited, and the cuts were quite jarring to say the least. Though the word “kan” (F-word equivalent) was uttered loudly, it seemed to be OK and passed with no issues. Yes, it’s in local dialect, and even for me, the Hokkien language used was unfamiliar, and I had to rely on the subtitles to understand the meaning of what was said by various characters from time to time.There are two stories here in Cape No.7. One involves a case of forbidden love between a Japanese man and a Taiwanese woman, and his forced separation to return to Japan. On the sea journey, he confesses his love through 7 letters (hence the title) which he never found the courage to deliver them, and had them locked away, both the letters, and emotionally his heart. It was until his demise that his daughter discovered the truth, and decided to mail them back to the known address, which of course since WWII, no longer exists.So the letters get into the hands of main protagonist Aga (Van Fan), who was a rock band singer in Taipei who failed to make good, and returned to his village of Hangchun to become a part time postman. Not knowing where to send those letters to, he eventually brings them back (with stacks of other letters due to his nonchalant work attitude), and got to read the big romantic story contained within. Meanwhile, he has to juggle with a band put together by the Mayor/Representative of the town, as well as Tomoko (Tanaka Chie) who is the local coordinator for a big Japanese singer coming to Hengchun, and the motley band is to be the opening act.I didn’t find much to celebrate in the romantic story as told from within those letters, ala The Notebook style. For some reason it failed to move me, and I can’t see past the clichés within, though it got framed from within very luscious cinematography. However, it served as an ample backdrop on which to evaluate the relationship between Van and Tomoko, now being a Taiwanese man and a Japanese woman, the former a struggling musician, while the latter, after her Taiwan stint, has a cushy job waiting for her back in Japan. Given that they started off as loggerheads and slowly developing a liking for each other, it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out what will happen eventually.But the crux of the movie rested on the shoulders of a typical Japanese Zero-To-Hero formula, and here we have a bunch of misfits who can’t play together, being forced to team up. Each comes with emotional baggage and plenty of background pathos, and here’s where the strength of the movie resided in, as written and directed by Wei Te-Sheng, They are all likable characters, even though they are, like everyone else, flawed to begin with, which makes them easy to identify, and sympathize with.We have the drummer Frog (Ying Wei-min) who is a mechanic, and harbours an unrequited love for his boss’ buxomy wife, Rauma (Min-Hsiung) an ex-SWAT Taipei cop now being demoted to a traffic cop in a small town because of his ill-temper, Malasun (Ma Nien-hsien) who started off as a street smart rice wine salesman before being recruited as bassist, a ten year old keyboardist in Dada (Joanne) who has been kicked out from providing her service in church because of her failure to conform to playing for a (boring) congregation, and last but not least, an elderly “Gem” of the town Old Mao (Johnny Lin) who struggles to keep up with the rest, and having to insist that he gets to play a part in their performance. In fact, Johnny Lin steals almost every scene with his fast talking uncouth mouth, that you just wait look forward to each of his screen appearances, and anticipate with glee when the punchline will be delivered.It’s a slice of life of a small Taiwanese town where everyone almost knows everyone else, and you can see how certain dynamics between the private and public sector comes into play. In its human story, the themes of love and cooperation, respect and understanding all come into play and get expressed, and it is unlikely anyone will not get swayed by the sincerity and small town charm it exudes throughout. And as for building up to the final act, it’s something that doesn’t disappoint, or find a need to summarize or opting for a cop out. It delivered where it mattered, and finished off very strongly.Cape No 7 earns a “recommended” tag from me, and it’s as feel good as you can get about a film and its wonderful themes. It’s no wonder already why and how this film would make Taiwan, and of course the town of Hengchun, a tourist attraction already.

  • imants-licis
    imants licis

    The title is what I believe after I saw this movie.Cape No.7 is a great movie and a humble self-introduction of Taiwan. Few that live in mainland China know the real Taiwan. What are the people like? How is their life there? These questions are not merely out of our curiosity; it’s more because we care.Movie has always been a good way of knowing other peoples and cultures. I’ve always been wanting to know Taiwan through their movies, but the fact is movie industry of Taiwan hasn’t been doing well for a long time. If you go to a DVD shop(not to mention cinema) and look for Taiwan movies, mostly, you’ll find, or the owner will recommend to you stupid little romances with good-looking faces or extremely low-key boring meaningless experiments(usually in experiments’ disguise making erotic stuff), but what we wanna see and the filmmakers in Taiwan should show us is a real Taiwan, a real life of the people. Unlike most other Taiwan movies you can easily find, Cape No.7 is not only a 100% percent authentic Taiwan movie, encouragingly, it’s honest and humble too, in order that a real Taiwan will be demonstrated to everyone, including Taiwan natives.And the effort paid off. We see the beauty of the island, and the beauty of its people. You may think of another movie that is like a place’s self-introduction, The Barber of Siberia. Critics say Russia in The Barber of Siberia is not the real Russia, which is not that good in fact. You might feel Taiwan in Cape No.7 is not the real Taiwan either; you might think Taiwan could never be such a nice place. Truthfully, Taiwan has its good and bad things, if there is nothing good in Taiwan and the movie tells you it’s good then that’s called fake; if there are good things and people, and the movie shows the good to us, why should we say it’s not real? There is a time to reveal bad and ugly and there is a time to show good and beauty. Same reasoning with The Barber of Siberia. At this moment, why don’t we enjoy seeing a good, beautiful and true Taiwan and hope there are more and more movies like Cape No.7.

  • larry-lang
    larry lang

    I personally enjoy this movie very much. It even makes people who are not familiar with Taiwanese history and its complicated ethnic layers in the island can reflect their own experiences of any multi-ethnic, multi-racial and cultures of peripheries to rethink about what makes people get together and achieve their common goal. The background love story happened 60 years ago and is complete by the last act of the letters been delivered gives the main story line the depth of history and humanity. It’s a movie of universal humanities about individuals and community, personal destiny vs. national/historical boundaries.I personally wonders why IMDb change this film’s name from the very common and its official title of “Cape No. 7” in its data base to the very uncommon system of Hanyu Pinyin (used by PRC) in Taiwan. It’s not possible to simply tape “Cape No. 7” and find this film in IMDb’s database. Is it a kind of cover up project to reduce this film’s visibility in internet? Can anyone tell me why?

  • dorina-stanescu
    dorina stanescu

    I live in Taiwan and saw this with English subtitles at my local cinema in Tainan. It’s not a stunning movie but it is very engaging and charming and best of all depicts many of the charming and engaging qualities of this country. The storyline follows two love affairs – one of 60 years earlier and the other unfolding in the present day. The acting is fine, the humor works well, it is well photographed and the music that pulls several of the subplots together lifts the already high mood and tone into a moving climax.I’m glad I saw it and feel I know Taiwan a little better through watching this movie – and spent 2 very enjoyable hours doing so.

  • cynthia-porter
    cynthia porter

    Few days ago,roommate told me this movie suck. Still i see this movie in middle night 2:00AM. After seeing this movie, something in my mind push me to say something here, to persuade others to see this movie?–maybe, i would love you to see this movie too. It is great, no doubt about it. It is about honor of country/family, love of people, passion of people. The story is good, jokes are good(maybe people in other country can’t understand it very much, but from my sight, it is true word from people’s heart),actress is pretty(pretty is not enough, she makes everybody wants to protect her, especially when she in his arm and say:why do you take advantage of me, i am just a little girl, work here, far away from home?) GO, see it.!!!!

  • ulla-magnusson
    ulla magnusson

    Taiwanese romantic comedy that according to some of the reviews on IMDb is bound to baffle those from other parts in the world. Maybe, or maybe not.The plot has a musician named Aga, moving to a different part of Taiwan and ending up as postman and then drafted into a rock band that is being put together to help draw people to the local hotel. Its a battle of old ways and new ways, with a duel romance tossed in. One is the romance of our hero with the girl named Tomoko, and the other is the letters from 1945 that were in a package our hero failed to deliver which kind of mirrors the main characters.Wonderfully acted, at times incredibly touching, with great music and a bunch of great characters this is very often a magical movie. When its on its great, but the film has a couple of hiccups that made me want to grab the director and the screen writer and slap them around.First the film is way too long at 130 minutes. Had the film worked from top to bottom I would have been happy to watch these people for hours, but as there were times when I wanted to reach for the remote.The other problem with the film is that the character of Aga doesn’t do much. His often inaction affects the romance of the story. He drives around and looks grumpy and kind of interacts with Tomoko, and then he’s grumpy some more and then he sings and then he looks at Tomoko and she looks at him, but there is nothing between them. We never know what our hero is feeling. Its not the actors fault, its the way he’s written. Until the wedding scene I honestly had no idea who the object of his affection was since nothing was really happening between anyone. Then what happens is so brief that you can’t believe that a romance was built out of that. (Its kind of a WTF moment and a review for a film called Finding Shangri-la in China Daily mentioned the sequence in this film as non-moment that they feared was going to be repeated in that one. Apparently its not) If you take the romance as a given its better then if you wait for something to really happen, because it never really does. So much of this movie is off screen that I felt as though there should be another half hour just to explain what we’re not seeing.Annoyance aside the film is worth a look. The music is as I said great and it adds much of the emotion that the film is otherwise lacking. And of course there are the characters who may not always be likable but are often well drawn. Its a good film that should have and really could have been better.Worth a rental.

  • inga-zarize
    inga zarize

    Pleasant reviews on this movie prompted me to watch it. I had expected an enjoyable heart warming comedy but it didn’t turnout this way. I really tried to enjoy it but found myself hitting the fastforward button from impatience. I’ve watched some excellent Taiwanese movies and this had to be thrown to the other far end. Poor character development (The sub-characters didn’t even have their closure), screenplay, very very poor direction and some very bad acting. The story isn’t original although the small seaside town setting is nice plus the focus on the indigenous Taiwanese. I felt the director was really trying to hard to convey multiple story lines across which fell completely flat for me. I don’t really understand why the tie in with a mysterious letter from Japan. It made the movie so much more disjointed with the poor direction, acting, editing etc. Should have just kept it simple.

  • otilia-stancu
    otilia stancu

    By the time I watched this film, it has broken Taiwan’s all time box-office record. Taiwan has no Hollywood, but for decades until recent years, it has produced dozens of movies every year. It’s been the hub of Chinese-speaking film making industry and nurtured internationally renowned directors such as Hsiao-hsien Hou, Edward Yang and, of course, Ang Lee. That’s why it’s a surprise to see what the film has achieved because, whichever way you look at it, it fell short of many high standards set by its predecessors. It’s by no means a bad movie though. A warm story executed reasonably well. The elements of romance and certainly music (Taiwan’s pop music industry is also well developed) added to its viewing pleasure. Beautiful photography gives extra charms to the tropical town in the southern tip of the island. Acting wise not overall brilliant, but some roles depicting typical local characteristics are particularly lovable. Old Mao is the best example.Perhaps the underlying reason for the film’s popularity is something beyond its plot. Taiwan society, in recent years, has suffered from slow economy, isolation from the world as a result of “One China Policy”, and especially the conflict between political parties within the island. People are tired. Tired of struggling to make a living in the big cities and tired of watching confrontations among politics everyday and night on TV. The simple small town lifestyle and good-willed characters demonstrated in the film remind people of the good old days. For two hours, it’s like providing an escape for people who have long been trapped or bringing light to people who have long been live in dark. This film will represent Taiwan for the quest of Oscar’s best foreign language film. It’s not going to win. It’s even unlikely to be nominated. But, maybe by accident, this film has achieved something that makes it bigger than winning prizes — bringing hope to depressed souls!

  • zvaigzne-rudolfs
    zvaigzne rudolfs

    Wow! I just finished seeing this with a group of friends and everybody in the cinema seemed to truly enjoy themselves. Filmed in Taiwan with a Taiwanese director and mostly local actors, this timeless plot features a small town that must come up with a band comprised of local musicians that will be the opening act for a big beach concert starring a big Japanese star. Will the beautiful Japanese concert coordinator fall for the local boy that has left a musical career in Taipei to return home to become a mailman? Can a band with a 10-year-old keyboardist, a 70-year-old bassist, and various other misfits help put Hengchun on the map? This may strike some as a Taiwanese version of “The Commitments”/”School of Rock” and, yes, there are a few saccharine moments. Yet, director Wei Te-sheng, a former assistant director under the legendary Edward Yang (director of one of Taiwan’s all-time best films, “Yi Yi,” IMHO), skillfully pulls everything off without a hitch. Recommended to movie lovers of all ages!

  • simona-zukauskas
    simona zukauskas

    I can understand why this movie broke box office record in Taiwan, because it is truly a movie Taiwanese people can fully appreciate. But I doubt others can understand it and enjoy it as much.As they say in Japan, the “common sense” in Japan is not the common sense in other countries. The characters in this movie seem to be doing things that are not thinkable or allowed in other countries. But in Taiwan, they are completely acceptable. Even though they are just subplots and do not affect the whole story, they may be confusing to non Taiwanese viewers. Especially there is a lose end to a very important part. If you can ignore these non essential parts, then you will enjoy the movie.After the beginning mess, the movie stays focused. With every passing minute, draws you closer to the characters. In the end, the movie grows on you, after it’s finished, you will want to see it again.If the director gives it some editing, it can be a serious Oscar contender.

  • maria-fernanda-aragao
    maria fernanda aragao

    This movie is doing well on hype alone, but don’t go into it with unrealistic expectations. It is a very well done Taiwanese film which is particularly impressive given its relatively small budget. It’s not mind-blowing but it is reasonably well executed, certainly better than a lot of the crap that is out there. It has a good dose of (often local) humour and an interesting storyline and several subplots that unfold at a smooth pace. Performances are more than adequate. Cinematography is top notch. On the down side, there are a few aspects which lacked attention to detail despite the 2 hour+ running time, some loose ends which weren’t tied up, and a romance that feels a little more forced than natural. Also some scenes didn’t really “work”. However, the Japanese letters which link the film together are beautifully written, and definitely add an extra dimension to the overall feel of the experience. Locals should definitely go and support a job well done.

  • sr-pietro-alves
    sr pietro alves

    This movie really captures the type of local people who live in the Southern parts of Taiwan. The true local people, the type who have never left their hometown and the type who have never adapted with the times. For a Taiwanese person this movie will be hilarious, it truly shows the older generation characters are being the way most of elders are. The actual foul language in Taiwanese dialect can never really be understood unless you realise how bad these words are, and the true meaning of said words and phrases.Some would say this is a romantic comedy, for me it was more of just a comedy. The romance seemed little and not massively important to the story. For me the story was about a group of people coming together to create a band which no one would’ve ever thought possible, not the locals and not even the band members themselves. The romance was a side part, it wasn’t enough to make you feel sorry for the characters or enough to make you want them to be together.In Taiwan this is the biggest movie ever, well it certainly seems that way. The Taiwanese rant and rave about it like its the greatest thing since sliced bread, there might be many reasons why… Because it truly captures some of the Taiwanese elders perfectly, or perhaps because Taiwan makes very few movies. And the other only big movies made in Taiwan are of a sexual nature (Tsai Ming-liang).Overall I did enjoy this movie but I feel without my knowledge of Mandarin language and Taiwanese Dialect, along with my experience of living in Taiwan for a number of years I wouldn’t have enjoyed this movie as much. Without a true understanding of the setting there’s no way I would’ve found even half of the jokes amusing.I think if you know about Taiwanese culture, or if you’ve visited Taiwan you’ll enjoy this movie. But if you don’t have such knowledge or experiences you might want to pass this movie by as it won’t be enough to entertain you for 2+hours.

  • miguel-angel-carmen-mercado
    miguel angel carmen mercado

    For those viewers who are rusty on their Taiwanese history, Cape No. 7 is a good time, a sweet if somewhat angsty love story, and an intriguing glimpse into the day-to-day life of a Taiwanese town. For those who do know something of Taiwan’s history and present international deadlock, the film becomes a vocal assertion of selfhood.The amorous tension in the film is between a local Taiwanese boy, Aga, and a Japanese model, Tomoko. Aga has returned home to his small seaside village moody and gruff after failing to make it as a musician in Taipei, while Tomoko, trying to organize a Japanese pop star’s concert at a nearby resort, has been tasked with finding locals good enough to form the opening band. A sweet if somewhat skimmed-over subplot involves a failed romance set during the aftermath of Japan’s occupation of Taiwan in World War II, in which a young Japanese teacher writes letters to his Taiwanese beloved as he sails home to Japan. Sixty years later, these letters now find their way into the hands of Aga and Tomoko, who determine to discover their owner.Both love stories reflect aspects of Taiwan’s relationship with Japan at different times in its history. The Japanese teacher deserted his Taiwanese beloved, much as the Japanese deserted Taiwan after the war, turning over the reigns of their repressive but adept rule to the even more iron-fisted Chiang Kai-shek. During colonization, Japanese cultural systems were forcibly enforced on the island; under Chiang’s rule, Chinese culture was dominant. In both cases, local Taiwanese culture was considered second-best. The movie addresses these issues of abandonment and desire for equality. Aga yearns for recognition of his talent, which he finally gets when Tomoko confesses her love and when his music – specifically a traditional Taiwanese ballad – is embraced both by the local villagers and, more importantly, by the Japanese pop star, who says he “knows the song.” By winning the love of Tomoko and the acknowledgement of the Japanese pop star, Aga – and Taiwan – claim equal footing at last.The film can also be seen in light of Taiwan’s current condition as a pariah in international relations. As a country formally recognized by only 23 states, most of them small islands in the Pacific, Taiwan has fought tooth and nail for just minimal acknowledgement from the world community. (This year’s small victory as an observer in the World Health Assembly, which as part of the United Nations has traditionally refused to recognize Taiwan, is one such example.) Taiwan’s lack of global recognition is due in a large part to the influence of China, which sees Taiwan as part of its territory. Tellingly, Cape No. 7 makes no mention of China or the Chinese influence on the island; most of the dialogue is in Taiwanese, Japanese, or Taiwan guoyu (Taiwanese Mandarin). Mandarin Chinese, the official language of China, becomes the compromise language between Tomoko and the Taiwanese villagers – she snaps at them, “I can’t understand your Taiwanese accent!” and they make fun of her, saying, “Who can understand her Chinese?” Mandarin, although a necessary tool for communicating, is a foreign tongue for all of them, which illustrates the ambivalent position of China in the world of the film. In real life, ties between Taiwan and its Mainland neighbor have thawed rapidly; the two now permit direct flights, the first in sixty years, and economic relations grow closer with each dip of the stock market. China’s marginalization in the film, however, consciously disregards that part of Taiwan’s complicated present to explore other aspects of Taiwanese identity – perhaps a way of fighting back against the influence the PRC has increasingly tried to cast over the island.Aside from being a love story that will appeal to the emotion-laden teenager in all of us, Cape No. 7 is a glimpse into an unvarnished, unapologetic Taiwan. From pompous local politics, to millet wine and karaoke, to betel nuts and motorcycle mail delivery, the film throws back the shutters on all aspects of a Taiwanese village. Many of the actors in this production are not professionals, and it is the honest, tattered-at-the-edges quality of the scenes that most transports the audience into the world of the film.Cape No. 7 is the coming-of-age story of a nation. Shot on a shoestring and popularized by word of mouth, the film became one of the highest grossing ever to be shown in Taiwan, second only to Titanic. It is rare for Taiwanese films to receive much attention in the U.S., but as a confident self-introduction, Cape No. 7 has the potential to be the film that crosses the impasse. And now that Taiwan is coming into its own, hopefully this will be the first of many vibrant films to come out of this small but spirited country.

  • robin-riha
    robin riha

    I, too, grew up partly in Taiwan and am now living in the States. I’m from South Taiwan, and quite often frequented the town here the movie takes place.There are indeed a bunch of Taiwanese humor, and due to such may be difficult for those who are not so adjusted to the culture to understand.The plot was touching, and environment VERY local–I’d even call it authentic. It’s not exactly an OMG AMAZING script, as plenty of Japanese cartoon (anime), with which many Taiwnese are familiar with, and a lot of older Taiwnese stories that are based around the general plot. However, that is not to say the movie wasn’t creative, as it is arguable that there are only 5 stories, and seemingly infinite ways to present them.I personally loved the movie. It was touching, and admittedly, I cried–from flooding nostalgia of memories past.Because the majority of the movie is based on Taiwanese culture, it is definitely a hard one to push internationally, especially in the western part of the world.However, I felt that a movie like Cape No. 7 was long overdue in Taiwan, and believe that it is a first step for Taiwan to take to gain international footing in the movie industry.