“Have You Ever Loved Me?” is currently a hit screen in Cambodia cinemas. The movie gains a lot of attention that I can hear people talking about it almost everywhere I go. To see how it can grab so much attention in a short time, I decided to set my time and book a ticket to watch the movie. Yes, currently you have to book the ticket, or none will be available for you. That proves to be right. By the time I got to the cinema, there were many people there.
Seen just the title, it apparently shows the movie is about love. Yet, the director adds thriller plot to the movie to make it more than just an ordinary love movie.
The director of the movie is a Malaysian filmmaker whose name is Brando Lee. He collaborated with a local company Aplus Asia Network to produce it. Brando told a local media that about US$70,000 was spent to make the movie.
Preap Sovath plays as a doctor in the movie. He suddenly becomes famous because he saves a life of an ambassador by operating heart surgery. Everything seems to be good until his wife passes away and everything turns upside down for Dr. Sovath.
He moves to live in a province hoping to forget the bad memory of the death of his wife. There, he meets Sakana. As time passes by, they slowly fall in love with one another until one day, a man comes and asks Dr. Sovath to come back to work at the hospital in Phnom Penh again.
Dr. Sovath then accepts the request. That is when he meets Srey Neang. In no time, he falls for her. The romance continues until Sakana comes to find Sovath at Phnom Penh, and there comes a twist of the story. I am not going to spoil the movie here; you can watch and find out what happens next by yourself.
Personally, from the first scene, it is not like the ordinary Khmer movie before. I have to admire the technical work of the movie. The technicality is very good compared to other Khmer movies. Each scene and frame of the movie is artistic and very good-looking. The color is very nice. The quality of the picture is very clear as you would expect from a big screen movie.
On the other hand, the storyline is quite foreign base or to put it in simple words, it is like a foreign movie played by Khmer actors. For example, the dialogues between each character sometimes sound unnatural. It seems like a translated script rather than ordinary conversation between Cambodians. It makes the interaction very awkward. Again, it is probably because the director and writer of this movie are foreigners.
What makes the audiences laugh all the way is how Dr. Sovath talks. His voice is too soft, which then becomes funny. Some people joke that he sounds like a gay.
There are also some parts of the movie that are very hard to understand. Several scenes do not connect very well, and there is a scene where it has become a mystery to me until now. For instance, there is a scene when Srey Neang killed a foreign guy. I, and the same as other audiences, never learn who he is and why she kills him.
However, the three main actors play very well. Their acts and facial expressions are very natural, unlike other Cambodian movies I have seen before.
I like how the story ends. Dr. Sovath asks if Srey Neang has ever loved him while Sakana ask Dr. Sovath if he ever loved her. I think that is where the title of the movie is taken from.
Overall, the movie is technically well done but it is not conceptually comprehensive enough. What happen to love if there are three people? Have you ever loved him or her? The answer may lie within the movie itself. You may have to watch it to find out the answer; yet, the answer can be yours, too.Article by: NHEM Piseth
NHEM Piseth is a senior of Media Management at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC).
Being a media student, Nhem Piseth always hopes that what he has done can make positive changes, no matter how small or big, to society. He believes that writing can be one of the most effective ways to make it possible. With love of writing in his heart, Piseth has made writing as his daily activity and he will never give it up. He has been a reporter for CambodiaCircles since September 2011. "I believe that people tend to be more honest when they write than when they talk, and that is one of the best things about writing," said Piseth.