Yankie director Don Tyler faces mounting insecurity and declining health while on location in Beijing, so his assistant hires down-and-out camerman YoYo to take the reins. Scrambling, ... See full summary »
Su Kai is spunky but lonesome: his job takes him on long solitary drives across China. On a ferry, he meets two China Air flight attendants, Ge Ge and Yang Yan. He's smitten by Ge Ge, and ... See full summary »
A loose adaptation of Hamlet, "The Night Banquet" is set in an empire in chaos. The Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince, the Minister and the General all have their own enemies they would like to finish off at a night banquet.
Four friends come up with an unusual idea to make some money and have fun doing it. For a small fee, they will impersonate and act out any character role for their customers. In the course ... See full summary »
Yankie director Don Tyler faces mounting insecurity and declining health while on location in Beijing, so his assistant hires down-and-out camerman YoYo to take the reins. Scrambling, studio boss sells the sagging picture to a Japanese media company. But YoYo is determined to upstage the whole production by granting the director's wish to have a grand "comedy funeral". To raise the money for it, he auctions off advertising and sponsorships for the funeral to companies around the world. But wait...is Don getting better? Written by
I feel that this movie was successful on many levels, not least of which being the natural movement in and out of Chinese and English - a tribute to the bi-lingual and bi-cultural understanding of the writers and actors. As a native speaker of both English and Mandarin, I never felt the dialogue to be stilted and, I felt it was well written in both languages. In fact, the writers and crew really brought to life the cultural clashes of when East meets West in more obvious and subtle ways to count. It would take a careful viewing with some very culturally fluent Chinese viewers to pick out many of the inside jokes.
Da Wan also succeeds in weaving together many different comedic forms. Not only is there clever use of slapstick and physical comedy, the film wittily integrates satire, irony, farce and a very Chinese brand of buddy comedy. Here, You Ge shines as straight man to Da Ying. Likewise Rosamund Kwan brings a real subtlety to her role as a Chinese American falling slowly for You Ge's Chinese, Chinese character. Though the movie doesn't hit you over the head with this, it is yet another way in which the movie subtly brings in an East meets West conflict.
The only part I find overtly questionable is the ending - at points, it feels contrived, though I still feel that it is competently executed. Perhaps just a bit too conventional for a movie that I feel otherwise seems fresh and uncliched.
The film is not without its flaws. The aforementioned ending is an example.
Also, Donald Sutherland's role near the end leaves something to be desired.
The character doesn't quite behave believably. However, overall, I would highly recommend this film. Clever, witty and culturally intelligent, it's surprisingly good.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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