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Shenzhen businessman, Da Ming, goes home to Beijing when he thinks his father has died. He finds his father hard at work at the family's bathhouse (the false message was a ruse of Da's mentally-handicapped, exuberant brother, Er Ming, to get Da home). Da stays a couple days, observing his father being social director, marriage counselor, and dispute mediator for his customers and a boon companion to Er. Da is caught between worlds: the decaying district of his childhood and the booming south where he now lives with a wife who's not met his family. When Da realizes his father's health is failing and the district is slated for razing, he must take stock of family and future. Written by
"Shower" is an story about loyalty, about the unstoppable advance of modern world in the detriment of rather traditional and more human ways of life. A man forced to choose between his successful career in business, his big-city life, his wife, and his retarded young brother. The eternal doubt between what we WANT to do and what we SHOULD do. The modern China versus the ancient one. The public baths with its gatherings, its cricket fights versus the shopping centres and the skyscraper. Lots of old men and women that are no longer needed. China, one country, two systems, as Xiao Ping said ... though one of them is killing the other.
Tender, moving, full of funny moments, and of bitter-sweet ones.The sensitive ones will cry and laugh equally. The actors are enormous, especially the one who performs the role of the retarded boy; and Yang Zhang makes a good job, easy, simple, letting the story just flow by itself.
My rate: 8/10
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