Abstract and dreamy are two words that describe Beautiful Crazy (亂青春), a Taiwanese film directed by Lee Chi-yuan (李啟源). The movie is driven by a series of beautiful scenes shot with a hand held camera by Dutch cinematographer Leonard Retel Helmrich.
The story revolves around three girls, Angel, Xiao Bu and Ah-mi. The way the scenes are interwoven and make use of different color schema gives the movie a unique flavour. It crisscrosses back and forth in time and allows the viewer to gradually discover to slowly uncover the twists and secrets in their relationships.
In an interview the director said the film took seven days to write, 18 days to shoot and a year to edit. It is also unconventional in that most of the dialogue was improvised rather than following a script. This allows the actors to interact in a way that is more natural and believable.
There is a wonderful emotional intensity between the three girls in the film. However, two of the most intense scenes occur between the girls and their fathers. Angel is driven to despair by her inability to interact with her catatonic, alcoholic father. Ah-mi and her father share a ice cream together in another touching scene.
Beautiful Crazy is not an easy film to follow but for fans of arthouse cinema it is definitely worth watching.