Friendship, Feelings, and a Mountain is Explored in ‘One Way’!

One Way

Two friends go on a spontaneous hike in the mountains; one has a broken heart, while the other has a broken soul. Will this trip finally merge their different paths into one? Let’s find out in ‘One Way.’

One Way

‘One Way’ is a 12-minute Taiwanese short film that debuted in 2021 and stars Ark Zheng from “Sodom’s Cat” and Aaron Don Don from “Gold Leaf.” The movie, which was directed by Shih Ching Ling, explores the ambiguous friendship between two friends as they take an unplanned journey to the mountain. Vivi Yeh also makes a special appearance in this short.

 

Warning: Spoiler alert! Read at your own risk!

 

An unknown woman (Vivi Yeh) prances around as Hong Yuan (played by Aaron Don Don) plays a gong-like instrument in the distance, and his friend/roommate Jyun-Kai (played by Ark Zheng) covers his face with a large green leaf. The room is filled with the instrument’s relentlessly ominous pounding.

In the bathroom of their shared apartment, Jyun-Kai discovers Hong-Yuan getting ready for work as he wakes up. The latter asks her who Cindy is after hearing the former mumble the name while dozing off. Jyun-Kai, who is still sleepy, ignores the question from his friend as he presses him to reveal who Cindy is when the name of the girlfriend he recently dumped is Rebecca. The two use Hong Yuan’s scooter to travel to Rebecca’s house in the hopes of picking up Jyun Kai’s, but the latter chooses to let his ex-girlfriend use it instead, which irks Hong Yuan because it means they’ll have to share. He rides in the back as they depart for his audition.

 

Watch ‘One Way’ on GagaOOLala.

Jyun-Kai passes the time by playing with the kids in a playground as he waits for Hong-Yuan to finish the audition. The two decide to eat and get back on the scooter after leaving instead of returning right away. While the scooter’s owner sits in the back, Jyun-Kai continues to drive while wearing Hong Yuan’s sister’s pink helmet. The would-be actor questions his friend about why he left his scooter at his ex-girlfriend’s place rather than using it to ride alone; however, the friend simply tells him to let it go as he has nothing on anyway. Hong-Yuan asks again about Cindy, but the others quip that she is simply an actress named Cindy Wang. Since his friend didn’t respond to the phone, he guesses it was a booty call. Jyun-Kai leans on Hong-Yuan instead and adds that hooking up with Cindy Wang wouldn’t be all that horrible, making the other person chuckle. As the two ride along, they converse about everything and anything, pointing out objects they pass by that they have memories associated with and singing love songs despite the fact that they are both tone deaf. The two take a picture on a bridge. When Hong-Yuan complains about how difficult it is to be an actor, Jyun-Kai tries to lighten the atmosphere by joking that he looks like a realtor because of his suit. Instead of eating as scheduled, they take a hike up a nearby mountain. Jyun Kai makes fun of him as Hong Yuan shouts at one of the cliffs. The two wind up running after one another as they hike up.

As they go further, Hong-Yuan asks his hiking companion if he has been there before. The latter replies that he has and that he has already experienced the night view alone, which he intended to show the former. The actor brought up Cindy once more when Jyun-Kai inadvertently revealed that he almost attended a concert alone. He then asked if he was supposed to watch with Cindy. Jyun-Kai requests Hong-Yuan to stop bringing up Cindy from the dream but ultimately caves to reveal that she is someone he has previously slept with, leading the latter to sneer and call him a scum. When Jyun-Kai, who has already gained some distance from Hong-Yuan, notices that the latter has stopped hiking and is taking a break on a nearby bench, he orders him to continue or he will leave him alone. He initially disregards the warnings, but when Jyun-Kai says he has the scooter’s keys, Hong-Yuan is forced to stand up once more and carry on with the hike. After taking a photo of the now animated actor, Jyun-Kai tells him they need to go back now as his ex-girlfriend wants to meet up to retrieve her things. The other disregarded him and carried on with his hike despite Jyun-Kai’s repeated cries for him as he became increasingly irritated.

The two are once again riding the scooter while a gloomy song is playing in the following scene. Jyun-Kai sighs when Hong-Yuan gives him a back hug. He initially shrugs but then leans into his friend’s embrace.

 

WRITER’S THOUGHTS:

The nature of the two’s interaction may be examined in detail and is pretty fascinating. The audience would expect from the premise that the two would have an emotional confrontation of their feelings, possibly at the summit of the mountain, and end up together like in a traditional rom-com, but that didn’t happen in this short. Because there was neither an intimate touch nor a spoken confession of feelings, it instead raised more questions in the audience’s minds than it did at the beginning. The audience’s interpretation and creativity are given a lot of space. However, what seems to be a poignant scene in the film is when Hong-Yuan hugs Jyun-Kai on their way back, and the latter leans on his hug. Romantic feelings or not, it is clear that the two care for and find comfort in each other.

 

 

Watch ‘One Way’ on GagaOOLala.

 

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