Taiwan is already making it big on Netflix with its recent entries – Your Name Engraved Herein – being one. The LGBTQ+ film has become the highest grosser of the genre this year.
The drama is set in a Catholic high school for boys in the year 1987. Though the year marks the end of martial law, it precedes the easing of social repression. A similar theme was also used in the previous Taiwanese Netflix Drama – detention where the school was following the old regime.
There are two protagonists – a soft-spoken Jia-Han (Edward Chen) who is popular among his classmates, and the thrill-seeking new student, Birdy (Jing-Hua Tseng). These two entirely opposite natured boys develop an attraction. Schoolboy camaraderie comes to their rescue and provides cover.
Homosexuality was seen as a crime at that time which withheld Jia-Han but Birdy was bold about it. In one of the scenes there’s a banner with protests for normalizing same sex relationships. A year later the school starts admitting women. They are to be kept separated from men. This change also changed Birdy’s heart and he gets into relationship with a girl yet Jia-Han sulks with his broken heart, refraining to move on.
A-Han is juxtaposed between the liberties of the lifting of martial law and homophobia. The audience learns of the tumultuous period through him.
Being based on relationship, the film created room for sexual and sensual encounters. There are scenes which A-Han getting troubled by aged men and also a hot scene where he is with Birdy in the shower.
The director, Patrick Liu, understands the tenderness of teen emotions. He does not overdo expressions and interactions between the boys, keeping it all natural. However, his whole focus is on the romance and not on the political and social environment, though he explores the connection between religion and sexuality.
Your Name Engraved Herein may remind you of few other homosexual genre films such as – Call Me By Your Name, Brokeback Mountain or Moonlight provided there are two boys and one of them moves on with a girl, the repression, etc.
The film’s theme song has crossed 20 million views within no time and even won the Golden Horse for Best Original Song.
Here’s the trailer.