Journey Of Love is a short film written and directed by Hoàng Thành Đồng. It’s a story rich in details and one that conveys the quality of feeling love. The film uses sweet, subtle shots of nature and romantic settings to express how love could be found even in the most conventional scenarios.
The imagery in this film is beautiful because of the simplistic approach. Many of the shots are just of scenes of nature and they show the characters doing ordinary things. For example, in the opening scene, the woman is riding her bike on the road. The striking red color with her white dress and the green of the landscape is such a small detail that makes a big difference for how the audience approaches the film. It’s a scene of serenity and classic beauty, showing that there is a magic to the ordinary aspects of life. To have this scene be the opening and to have the main character recite a monologue about colors and emotions is significant to our understanding of the film as we go on this journey with her.
She talks about colors like blue and green in relation to aspects of nature. She says she is in love with those two colors: “The color of leaves, the color of the sky, the color of the wind dancing upon the grass.” All these images of nature give a feeling of freedom and peace. The subtlety of this poetic setting that the main character describes is representing the simplistic nature of love in the film as well.
This love story is not typical in that there is very little drama and in fact not very much is explained about the two characters who fall in love. Since there is almost no backstory, we are forced to be situated right in the middle of their relationship. To have the story set up this way makes the emotion more raw and powerful. Instead of presenting too much exposition in the details, the film just shows the natural sensations of being in love with someone.
One of my absolute favorite moments was a scene with the two of them and the bike. The romantic, uplifting music was playing in the background and the shots of them having fun with the bike almost seemed like a dance. There was something vintage and familiar about how the music entered into the film in such an effortless way that it blended with the serene setting. It became a significant part of showing this relationship.
Another great part of the movie was when the woman said “I realized that rain is not always the color of sadness.” Her and the guy are running in the rain and the shot goes to slow motion. The slow motion almost seems to be freezing time so that the moment is all about the two of them. Nothing else really exists and they’re in their own carefree world. The fact that she is able to take something that she didn’t care for before like the rain and see it differently afterwards, shows how we transform our perspectives in the world we live in when we fall in love.
The film captures each of the characters in their quiet moments. It shows glimpses of who they are as individuals and then slowly works to bring them together and express the enchantment of their relationship. They both have a longing to find love, but they don’t state an expectation that they will definitely find it someday, which is refreshing. That naivety comes across as honorable when they do discover a cherished love.
Often, we think we deserve many things in life and at the top of that long list is the concept of love. Everyone expects to find the love of their life eventually because of the expectations set up by movies and books and the people around us. We see it happen for everyone else and we think when does it happen for me? The truth is that we don’t all get so lucky. Love is a game of luck and it’s not something that should necessarily be expected. It’s a gift and if it does come along, it should be treasured, not thought of as something we were entitled to have. This film made me realize how special a thing genuine love actually is. It showed me that the greatest quality about a real love is when it kind of comes out nowhere and surprises you. When you aren’t looking for it, but just going about your life and enjoying all the little moments, a pure love can be right around the corner. It can take you on a journey you didn’t plan on going on, but that you learn new things from and experience thoroughly all the same.