Zhao is an aging bachelor who hasn't been lucky in love. Thinking he has finally met the woman of his dreams, Zhao leads her to believe he is wealthy and agrees to a wedding far beyond his ... See full summary »
China in the 1920's. After her father's death, nineteen year old Songlian is forced to marry Chen Zuoqian, the lord of a powerful family. Fifty year old Chen has already three wives, each ... See full summary »
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
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 ... See full summary »
In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »
A pregnant peasant woman seeks redress from the Chinese bureaucracy after the village chief kicks her husband in the groin in this comedy of justice. As she is frustrated by each level of ... See full summary »
Insurrection deposes the tyrannical first emperor of China during the evil Qin Dynasty. Warrior/general Xiang Yu and the cunning peasant Liu Pang join forces to win through civil war. Xiang... See full summary »
Zhao is an aging bachelor who hasn't been lucky in love. Thinking he has finally met the woman of his dreams, Zhao leads her to believe he is wealthy and agrees to a wedding far beyond his means. Zhao's best friend Li hatches the idea to raise the money by refurbishing an abandoned bus, which they will rent out by the hour--the Happy Times Hotel--to young couples starved for privacy. Unfortunately, this plan goes awry because Zhao is too old fashioned to allow the couples to leave the bus door closed. Meanwhile, Zhao's fiancee introduces him to her spoiled son and beautiful blind stepdaughter Wu Ying, whom she sees as a burden. To be rid of the girl, she insists that Zhao take her to the Happy Times Hotel and give her a job. Zhao reluctantly agrees, then creates a series of deceptions to keep the girl occupied, including setting her up as a masseuse and enlisting his friends to pretend to be her customers. Everything that is happening between Zhao and Wu is superficially about ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Has two endings. The first, a shorter one, is not well received in its China screenings. Zhang Yimou subsequently shot a longer ending after its China release for international distribution. See more »
It seems that most of the negative reviews that this film has gotten are based upon people's misconception that the film should be what THEY want it to be, not what it really is. The truth is, although there's certainly humor in the film, it's not a comedy - nor does it pretend to be a fairy tale, or a social expose, or a political statement. To me, it's a film about cruelty and compassion - both by human beings and by fate. I found it both life-affirming, and heartbreaking
at the same time, and I thought the acting was excellent on everyone's part. To me, well worth seeing, and quite unique.
19 of 24 people found this review helpful.
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