Peaceful Stoner’s review published on Letterboxd:
True Love is a Birthmark of a Soul. When a person falls in love, truly, he is reborn, into a World of two people, a train of thought where every cell of you connects with the other. He is born into a World of hope and a future blossoming with happiness. He experiences to the fullest extent, every minute of her life with him, his life with her and the life they share. He does not worry about the past, his financial instabilities, neither his present predicaments nor does he doubt whether this will last forever. When In love he lives in the moment as every moment has the potential to be a cherished memory in the future no matter whether he still has, with him, the reason of the memory or not.
A Failed Love is a Scar. Unlike a physical reminder which can be covered up neatly by attractive clothing, this Scar is impregnated in the soul of a person. A Scar which is inexplicable, a Scar whose depth no one can truly know, a Scar which will pain him for the rest of his life, a Scar which will haunt him always, Eternally. A person is reborn again when he fails in love. But this rebirth is an unexpected curse, unasked for, unwanted and full of pain. His scar is an unforgettable memory, a memory filled with traces of tears, a memory which pains him every inch of his journey into the future, a memory which reminds him of the reason why he is alone now and what different he could have done to have her still by his side, a memory which reminds him of his inaction, impatience or unexpressed feelings which could be reasons for his excruciation, a memory which makes him realize it was he who has been fooling himself all the while, a memory which makes him to finally understand and gives him the enlightenment that he was not being loved the same way as he had loved her. A memory which gives him the semblance of moving forward with his life but always reminds him that he has been and will always be circling around that one single tree. The Tree of his Past True Love.
4 years have passed by since Chow had met Su Li-Zhen, fallen deeply in love with her, and shared such an unbreakable, unmistakable bond before losing her. There are two ways to get over a failed relationship. One would be to remain distant and detached from the woman kind, remain hopeless because of the knowing that what he felt with her, his first love can never be recreated or substituted by another. He can lead a secluded life filled with just the memories of the past. The other way out would be to remain hopeful and try to recreate the same magic, which once made him soar up high into the heavens of happiness, with every other woman he meets. Chow has decided to take the second route towards shaping his future. He puts on a face which remains oblique, cold, unattached, and unfaithful to any relationship he gets into. Might be it is the knowing of the pain of losing a loved one that makes him act like this. Might be it is fear of not wanting to relive the pain once again. Might be it is the knowing that he can never be the same with anyone ever again. Might be it is the knowing that nothing ever lasts forever. Whatever the reason might be the scar has changed him forever. He cannot reveal his past self which would make him weaker; he cannot lose his present self which would also inevitably make him weaker. He continues to live, a stone hearted person who had once lent his soul to a person which was never returned. His Soul is like the secret they both had decided to pray into a hole in a tree and cover it with mud. His unavoidable scar is the only remnant of his original soul which is now covered by his aliasing self. His mind is the tree wherein the secret, the scar remains forever.
Life and reality are not so kind and seem harsh for a person who is loveless. As Chow has chosen the second route, he is bound to meet so many people. Every person he comes across reminds him in some way or the other of his one true love. They affect his real life, his work, his future and forever act as painful reminders of Paradise Lost. Whether he feels that way or is life playing a sadistic trick on him he would never know. Realizing that you are not the only person in the world who bears such a pain and there are so many others around you whose past also reflects yours is a solace and a consolation. The people who are equally affected as him are the only ones who can unearth his kind and lovable self and make it remerge. He cannot undo his past but he is perfectly capable of helping people who experience the same pain as him to have a better and a sweeter future.
The best way to heal The Love Scar might be to give a helping hand to those stranded and languishing in the same pit as him. It might be to know that his only fault was that he believed in something which never truly existed and accepting this truth no matter how painful. It might be being careful never to completely lend himself to another; it might be to know that he can never land in anyone’s heart again even though he is just a flightless bird.
Chow will remain forever hopeful to fill void, an attempt which he has always known will end in vain because it is a void which can be filled by one person only and that one has long gone. Chow will always try to solve the puzzle of unhappiness and find a solution to eternal glee but forever will be stuck in Square One unless he lets go of his past. The Square One of his true love, his life and his true existence. So true is his love. So painful is the scar of true love. For Chow and so many others who have lost their love 2046 is just an apparition of the future, it is just a mirage, a painful reflection a cherished past which no longer breathes.
Love is never only about finding the right person, it is always also about finding them at the right time and the right place in your lives. The worst stab in the heart is that we are all perfectly capable of loving another with all our heart, but perfectly incapable of shaping or deciding the above factors.
Let God have mercy on all those Love and hope filled souls.