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City businessman Luo Yusheng returns to his home village in North China for the funeral of his father, the village teacher. He finds his elderly mother insisting that all the traditional burial customs be observed, despite the fact that times have changed so much, and that it involves many people carrying his father's body back to the village - the road home. As Yusheng debates the complications involved in organising such a big feat, he remembers the magical story of how his father and mother first met and got together. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
For fans of faster-paced movies, be forewarned: this is extremely slow. For others who love a beautifully-filmed movie or a touching romance story, this Chinese film will do nicely.
Zhang Ziyi, who has now become an International star thanks to Crouching Tiger, Hero, House Of Flying Daggers and Memoirs Of A Geisha, never looked prettier and more appealing than here. Maybe that's because she plays such a sweet, innocent, non-violent (no martial arts here) character: a woman smitten with a new teacher in town and one who will go any lengths (in a totally pure sense) to be noticed and attract this man, mainly in the form of incredible patience.
This is one of the prettiest movies I've seen on DVD. It helps to be a fan of Ziyi and appreciate her beauty, because there are many shots of her face as she just stares looking for her man. This character gives new meanings to the words faithful, steadfast and devotion.
The film is actually two stories: the here-and-now about an old man and woman, and a long flashback telling the love story of how they met. In the first segment, the man had just died and the woman is grieving and making funeral arrangements. They involve walking with the casket a long way home, hence the title. The middle part of the film, the romance, features Ziyi. That middle segment - the courtship - is in brilliant, almost stunning-looking color. The beginning and end of the film are both in black-and-white. The cinematography for both parts is magnificent.
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