Occasionally I have this eerie feeling. In the vague, dark shadow of sadness, I find a shaft of light, the soft light that could be a sign of...
Occasionally I have this eerie feeling. In the vague, dark shadow of sadness, I find a shaft of light, the soft light that could be a sign of happiness. I feel my heart trembling; happiness is within reach....
Lo-Ning - a passionate college student of music major. Raised in a single-parent family, she is able to find peace through Chopin's piano pieces. Xiao-Jing – Lo-Ning's classmate and female friend of many years. Often she feels lost wondering about her unspeakable love for Lo-Ning. Li-Hao - a Physics-majored freshman. He befriends with both Lo-Ning and Xiao-Jing and stands by them on most occasions. In the film, three of them touch the vague boundaries between love and friendship until a substitute piano teacher named Daniel enters Lo-Ning's life.
Daniel, a seemingly arrogant musician, releases a unique quality of sadness when playing Chopin, which affects Lo-Ning in a profound manner. One night Lo-Ning finds Daniel drunken and unconscious outside a bar. Out of sympathy she manages to move him to a hotel nearby. Early morning when Daniel awakes and realizes she is his student, he scorns her and kicks her out of the room. Lo-Ning feels humiliated and ashamed.
Daniel came to his native country of Taiwan because he needed to escape from the pressure imposed on him from Elaine as well as his own desire for her. When he detects Lo-Ning's distress in the class and her innocence during her practice, Daniel is somewhat affected. He approaches her and apologizes to her with private music lessons. He soon finds himself romantically attached to this talented student.
Daniel invites Lo-Ning to a party in which Lo-Ning's necklace is identified as the object stolen from a department store. The necklace was originally a gift from Xiao-Jing. Does Lo-Ning know about other stolen items that Xiao-Jing has collected for her? Daniel brings Lo-Ning out of the embarrassing situation without asking further questions. They wind up spending time around the night market until dawn.
To Lo-Ning, Daniel is now more than a music teacher - he also exists in her world as a person with great passion and desires. Anyone can tell that Lo-Ning is in love. The relationship between Lo-Ning and Xiao-Jing is no longer ambiguous. With Li-Hao's encouragement, Xiao-Jing tries to get Lo-Ning's response to her love letter without success.
Daniel's love for Lo-Ning is complicated by his relationship with Elaine. They met in her beach house six months after she became windowed. Daniel was enraptured when he first saw the white piano inside the house and quickly fell under her burning desires for him. It was the time that he promised to write "Elaine's Theme" for her.
Eventually Daniel has to return to Paris and go back to Elaine. Not understanding his pain, Lo-Ning feels isolated after Daniel is gone. A few months later, Xiao-Jing was identified from a tape recorded off the monitor. Lo-Ning, afraid she would be caught, decides to run off with Xiao-Jing. On the floor of Li-Hao's apartment where they're hiding, two girls have heart-to-heart talk about their unforeseen future.
Li-Hao wake up one morning and finds the two girls gone – Xiao-Jing went to the U.S. and Lo-Ning on her way to France for her true love!
Lo-Ning stays in a hotel room by herself in Paris. For days Lo-Ning wanders about the house located in a village near Paris, waiting for Daniel's return. She first comforts herself picturing how he would spend his days here with her. She even makes friends with his neighbors. Eventually she is overcome with loneliness and when Daniel still fails to show up after a month, she feels greatly distressed.
She arrives at a department store in Paris and makes an attempt to steal. She lets herself get caught so to ask for help from the police to find Daniel. What she is not prepared for is the bad news that Daniel has been killed one month ago along with Elaine when their car fell off the cliff in Germany.
Lo-Ning returns to the village and imagines with sadness how Daniel and Elaine would spend their time with her inside the country house. She could almost feel the vast sorrow Daniel would experience in the shadow of Elaine - the woman has never given her a chance to be with Daniel.
Playing for the lost love on the piano, Lo-Ning sees herself slowly transform to Daniel. Li Hao has finally come to take her away from the influence of Daniel's ghost, just when "Elaine's Song" is near its completion...