Romance, suspense and politics on a journey from Germany to Portugal. By KEVIN MA一段由德國至葡萄牙的旅程,夾雜著點點情意、懸疑氣氛和政治議題。撰文:馬樂民

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EVER SINCE Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, it seems every scriptwriter wants to write a ‘road encounter’ film: a story about two strangers meeting, usually during travels, and bonding through long, meandering conversations.

Hong Kong has Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong; Captain America star Chris Evans made Before We Go, his directorial debut; the Philippines has

That Thing Called Tadhana; Japan gave it a bromance twist with Adrift in Tokyo; and the late Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami made Certified Copy.

Hans Weingartner, who directed 303, worked as a production assistant on

Before Sunrise and admits that Linklater’s film was the major influence. But 303 is much more than another rehash, with intricately planned dialogue and outstanding chemistry from its stars.

The film follows two German university students, Jule (Mala Emde) and Jan (Anton Spieker), on a road trip from Germany to Spain and Portugal in a camper; the film is named after the vehicle’s model number. Jan hopes to meet his biological father, while Jule is giving her absent boyfriend a surprise visit. Between impromptu swims, picnics and tours through picturesque small towns, the two debate topics such as political ideologies and their philosophies about relationships (‘Monogamy is culturally programmed unhappiness’ is thrown in at one point).

But the beauty of Weingartner and scriptwriter Silke Eggert’s dialogue is not in its content, but in its dramatic function. As the story goes along, it’s increasingly apparent that Jule and Jan are fiercely involved in their debates not because they care about the issues but to avoid the elephant in the room: their attraction to each other. The writers also cleverly drop clues to the characters’ backstories into the conversations, using these past experiences to shape their clashes.

It also helps that Emde and Spieker make an immensely likable pair with great on-screen rapport. Their chemistry is so palpable that the inevitable will-they-orwon’t-they kiss scene is one of the most suspenseful film moments I’ve seen this year.

自從 Richard Linklater 的《情留半天》之後,似乎每個編劇都想寫一個「公路情緣」的電 影劇本:故事講兩個陌生人通常是在旅途中相識,然後結伴同行,途中以聊天解悶,談的都是不著邊際的話題,卻在不知不覺中培養出一份情誼。

同類的電影,香港有《緣來說再見》;《美國隊長》的男主角 Chris Evans 首次自導自演了《日出前的邂逅》;菲律賓有《That Thing Called Tadhana》;日本 則 有 講 述男人 之間 情誼 的《Adrift in Tokyo》;而已故的伊朗導演Abbas Kiarostami 亦拍了《似是有緣人》。

電影《303》的導演 Hans Weingartner 曾 擔 任《 情 留半天》的製作助理,他亦承認Linklater 的影片對他有舉足輕重的影響。不過《303》有設計精密複雜的對白,演員之間的情感交流亦鋪排得特別出色,並非只是一部東施效顰之作。

本片講述兩名德國大學生 Jule(Mala Emde 飾)與 Jan ( Anton Spieker 飾)駕著露營車,從德國前往西班牙及葡萄牙的旅程;片名來自片中那輛露營車的型號。兩人懷著不同的目的踏上旅途, Jan 希望能見生父一面,而 Jule 則想給不在身邊的男友一個意外驚喜。兩人駕著露營車前進,沿途興之所至就停下來游泳、野餐,或者暢遊風光如畫的小鎮。這些活動悠閒寫意,但兩人的話題卻正好相反,他們會討論政治意識形態,以及各自的愛情觀(甚至有「一夫一妻制被文化定型為 毫不幸福」這樣的對白)。

不過 Weingartner 及編劇Silke Eggert 的對白精采之處並非內容,而是對白的戲劇性。當故事發展下去,觀眾很快就看出, Jule 與 Jan不斷激辯的原因,並非他們對這些議題非常重視,而是想迴避一個不知如何面對的事實:兩人其實都被對方吸引住。幾位編劇亦在對話中巧妙地加入兩個角色的故事背景作為線索,同時利用他們過往的人生經驗來塑造兩人之間的爭論。

至於 Emde 與 Spieker 兩位主角外形相襯,在銀幕上看來十分討好,令本片更加賞心悅目。他們之間的感情交流極有火花,那場兩人徘徊在親吻與否之間的戲,是我今年看過的電影中,最令人屏息以待的一刻。

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