24 July 2010 | monto
Dramatizing modern-day culture of urban China
A domestic drama surrounding the relationships of modern-day Chinese urbanites, with the various participants intersecting at a vehicle collision. Akin to the works of Iñárritu and Arriagga, e.g. 'Amores Perros', the film portrays a series of relationships via non-sequential narratives that draw together to a climax.
Filmmaker Zhang Yang, known for his realistic and popular dramedies 'Shower' and 'Getting Home', steps away from narrow-focus narratives to explore a series of modern-day relationships and plots, at the expense of humor and in-depth characterization. These relationships/plots include a young street-racer's happenstance meeting with a deaf-mute photographer, a wealthy ex's attempt to woo (buy?) back his ex's heart, a business relationship that prompts the kindling of romance, and a husband's attempt to raise medical treatment funds for his ailing wife.
In effect, the film seeks to portray the foibles (materialism, infidelity, divorce, one-night stands, etc) of modern-day Chinese urban life, with some portrayals more cliché, and perhaps cynical, than others.
As is the case with all non-sequential narratives, especially those with a large collection of characters (with the potential for diluted/glossed over characterizations), the filmmakers endanger losing audience interest and/or empathy, but that's up to the audience to decide. All in all an enjoyable domestic drama.