- 1h 44min
A movie fan in a remote farmland strikes a relationship with a homeless female vagabond.A movie fan in a remote farmland strikes a relationship with a homeless female vagabond.A movie fan in a remote farmland strikes a relationship with a homeless female vagabond.
All I can say is, I was very pleasantly surprised. The film is basically a road trip movie about two protagonists who really don't want anything to do with each other, but go through a journey that ultimately, yet ever so gradually, transforms their relationship. The plot was well-written with plausible events and very witty use of dramatic irony. In fact, this charmingly facetious tone is established early on in the movie eliciting chuckles from the audience all the way to the end.
On the topic of character development, what stood out for me was the balanced attention to both the male and female leads. At no point in the movie did I feel that one character was merely supporting the other. While it is not so rare for films to have more than one main character, I particularly enjoyed the coexistence of a male and female character in the lead roles.
I am very accustomed to seeing movies that praise individualism, the American Dream and the Nietzschean Will to Power, I had yet to see a decent film that championed communist ideals (I'm sure there must be quite a few out there - please pardon my lack of exposure and experience). This movie is centered around a propaganda piece and provides a "real-life" example of events that illustrate the ideals of camaraderie, solidarity and sympathy for the fellow man. Two characters who at first only care for their own "individual" and "selfish" well being, find themselves putting each other's best interest ahead of their own. And trust me, this is not done in a superficial, pedantic way that'll make your eyes roll (as it sometimes does in such films). In a sense, the film about a propaganda film IS an effective "propaganda" piece in and of itself.
It's hard to judge acting in a language/culture that is not too familiar. This is because any slight exaggeration or downplay of emotion may be a feature of the target culture and not "bad acting". Having said that, I found the acting in this movie realistic and believable. Organic comedy/drama bubbling out of the very carefully crafted scenarios and situations.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie and look forward to exploring Zhang Yimou's other features.
- Sep 19, 2021