The Rooftop. 2013. Taiwan/China/Hong Kong. Directed by Jay Chou. With Jay Chou, Li Xinai, Eric Tsang, Kenny Bee. DCP. In Mandarin; English subtitles. 120 min.
Known in the West for playing Kato alongside Seth Rogen in Michel Gondry’s The Green Hornet (2011), Jay Chou is well known in Asia as a star singer-songwriter. In his second film as director, Chou brings to the screen a bubblegum musical extravaganza bursting with song, dance, kung-fu, slapstick, and puppy love. In an imaginary fantasyland called Galilee City, Gao (Chou), who lives in a rooftop working-class community of charming and goofy characters, dreams of falling in love with the gorgeous model pictured on the billboard across from his home. A chance encounter brings the two together, but this forbidden romance faces insurmountable obstacles. Departing from his more austere repertoire, Lee—in his second collaboration with Chou, after Secret (2007)—proves his versatility by bringing to life this rowdy, candy-colored musical. DCP courtesy of Taiwan Film Institute.