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He ni zai yi qi
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Reviews & Ratings for
Together More at IMDbPro »He ni zai yi qi (original title)

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34 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Chinese experience of love between father and son

9/10
Author: jonathanli_1999 from USA
14 July 2003

Human feelings are universal whether you are a Chinese living in a crowded and vulgar country village or an American living in a comfortable and affluent suburban neighborhood. However, the experiences are different enough that there are subtleties in this Chinese film that only Chinese can truly appreciate.

I never wrote an online comment of a film before even though I have read a great deal. Unlike most of other films, comments on Chen Kaige's "together" is surprisingly divided into two extremes: love it or hate it. Maybe this observation prompted me to write something to express my feelings during and after watching this film.

I grew up in a small town in rural China, very much like the one shown in the film. My father isn't a "vulgar" peasant as the father in the film, and I wasn't a "prodigy" of anything by any measures either. The kind of strong character and sensitivity the kid showed is something I wish I had when I was a teenager. The incredible sacrifice and love the father showed in the film is also a bit surreal to me. In other words, my experience is much more real with little melodrama involved.

However, the film actually made me cry when sitting in the cinema, not just because of the melodrama and the music, more so because it made me miss my own father and remember many small moments between us that are not so much drama but only our daily experiences.

When I left cinema, I overheard a middle-aged American white couple in front of me making comments: "a cute little film, isn't it?" I can tell from the dialogue that they experienced different things when watching the film because they appreciate the details of ordinary Chinese life such as how the coal is used for heating tea. To me, those details are not novelties to appreciate, they WERE my existence and everyday experiences.

I will stop here not to violate the IMDB guideline. After all, everyone's experience is unique. Everyone has their ethos deep from their upbringing and culture. I am just glad that this film brings me a Chinese experience of love between a father and a son that I can relate to.

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25 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

A beautiful love story between a father and his son.

10/10
Author: thedivagirl from Boston, MA
16 July 2003

I didn't have many expectations for this film having long since lost my patience for subtitles and slow-moving foreign films. This film was a very pleasant surprise. A beautifully rendered story about the sacrifices we make for art, the sacrifices parents make for children, and the sacrifices teachers make for their students. I found myself thinking about the larger questions in life as I watched Han ni zai yiki--the struggles of the young protagonist to become a man, the heart-breaking dilemma that allows his father to become one as well, and the ways in which we lose our ways in life, and luckily how the entry of a new love (in its platonic sense) can get us back on the path.

At its center, Han ni zai yiki is the story of a father and his son. Never have I seen this relationship told with such honesty and impact. Instead of a perfect father giving pearls of wisdom to a son eager for his approval, we see an imperfect man doing the best he can for a son who is not necessarily appreciative.

It is sentimental, but that doesn't stop it from being thought-provoking, or from teaching the viewer something he or she is likely to have forgotten in this age of kung-fu special effect sequences and digitized actors.

In the U.S. at least, we've been saturated with ever-dumber plot lines, plasticized breasts, and explosions to emphasize every character realization. It's unusual to go to the cinema to be treated to a real story with complex and realistic characters in difficult situations that actually have some bearing on our lives. Together was a breath of fresh air.

I hope that the negative opinions expressed earlier don't stop anyone from seeing this film. Although I'd waited four years to see the sequel to the Matrix, I'd have to say, without a doubt, Han ni zai yiki is the best film I've seen all year.

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21 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Hollywood Should Be Taking Notes

Author: zenthrus from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
3 June 2004

He ni zai yi qi (or Together) is the stirring story of a young violin protege, Xiaochun, competing in the cutthroat world of Chinese classical music. Xiaochun's father dreams only of his son's success and goes to great lengths to accomplish this goal. Each character is developed and interesting and viewers will find themselves sympathisizing not only with Xiaochun, but with each person he comes in contact with. Director Chen Kaige weaves unique images together with a heartbreaking soundtrack to give this movie a definite feeling of realism. The acting by Tang Yun (Xiaochun) and Liu Peiqi (Liu Chen)is heartfelt and endearing. This is another example of quality Chinese-made cinema worth missing a few Hollywood run-of-the-mill flicks for. This is a definite don't miss.

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21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

For music lovers... excellent

10/10
Author: Edgar Guzman (edgar.guzman@gmail.com) from Mexico
7 July 2005

I rent this movie because a promotion (pay 2 rents, take 3 movies), And what a surprise. OK, I don't wash to much "Chinise Movies", here in México people are custom to the American Movies, but renting these movie is a great option.

Is about a kid with so much talent (palying a violin) that his father does practically everything to help him become a star, but he is just a kid and plays because his father ask him. The different people that the kid knows and the way his talent is absorbing friends to help him is moving. The music in the movies is splendid, characters and performance of actors are great, and let you understand the way people live in china in the 80's. Contains no violence or aggressive scenes, quiet good scrip.

I don't know a movie that I can compare with this, sorry.

I enjoy the end, despite my friend said wasn't good enough, but if you like music and a familiar movie, this is a must see movie.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

For the love of the music and child

9/10
Author: Richard (dicksosa) from Los Angeles, Ca
6 May 2004

I really liked this movie. I studied the violin for 8 years so I felt a strong connection to the film. The story is a touching tale about a child violin genius who goes to Beijing with his father and finds the best teacher he can. Truly the story is really about the love of a man for his son. The father shows the deepest emotion and devotion for his son throughout the movie. Unless your heart is made of stone and smaller than the Grinchs before it grew two sizes, you can't help but feel something for how much the son loves his father.

The music in the film is a nice selection of up-beat, touching, sentimental and refreshing. The emotion and message of feeling the music is executed with musical brilliance. The pieces are played exquisitely and even if your not into classical or violin you should still be entertained.

I realize this film may not be for some people or if your not in a particular mood. But if it sounds interesting you won't be disappointed in its poignant delight.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Particularly touching for former musicians

8/10
Author: John Shuler (john@shulers.net) from United States
10 May 2005

The kid and his father do a great job making this work. The plot twist is very powerful. The musicianship is incredible. If you don't cry at the end, you're made of stone... I don't care how cynical you are.

Movie does make use of several clichés about music teachers, but the funny thing is, a lot of music teachers are that cliché! And the classical music world is very political, as portrayed. And great musicianship IS a function of more than just fast fingers, as portrayed. The toughest part of this is how a country bumpkin learned to be that good in the first place. Who was his teacher?

Anyway, I highly recommend it.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Nice People, Nice Music

7/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
19 March 2006

Here is fairly pleasant story of a 13-year-old violin prodigy and his financially-strapped father try to get the boy professional help to aid in the kid's musical career. The father is a bit on the pushy side but he has a good heart and he's pretty comical, too. The young teen is a likable kid and the other main characters - two of his teachers and the "big sister" - are all interesting people.

The dialog, as with many "foreign" films, is different from what we are used to hearing in North America and I, for one, find it appealing.

At almost two hours, this might be a bit long for most people to put up with subtitles, but I didn't find that a hindrance in keeping focused on this story. Along the way, you get to enjoy some excellent violin playing, too. People who like amiable-character stories and good music should enjoy this very much.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

many-layered film reminiscent of Tous les Matins du Monde

9/10
Author: grantsman from United States
24 September 2005

This is a wonderful film. On the surface it's about a musically gifted 13 year old boy from the country going with his father to seek fame and fortune. Underneath, it's about hundreds of things. Just like Tous les Matins du Monde it's about music but also about how people lose the love of music through the events that befall them. What I notice about "Together" (He ni zai yi qi) is the theme of ownership -- how it eludes those who seek it in music. The acclaimed music teacher, Professor Yu, reminisces in class on how much he loved music, how his love of Vivaldi flourished during the Cultural Revolution despite the threat he was under. But now at the height of his fame he does not enjoy music any more; he only enjoys power. The boy's other music teacher has lost his love of music by becoming dispirited and his life has become decrepit. But the film has many other themes. It could be about the inarticulacy of adolescence, especially one burdened with impossibly difficult feelings. It could also be an allegory about China. I watched it as "Together" with English subtitles, but one sensed that in Chinese it had other layers of meaning -- the notion of the scholar as venerated in Chinese society, for instance. There are some things not quite realized and the ending is soft-centered, but the acting by the son and especially his father is gripping. It's a film that would repay repeated viewings.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Great movie, fantastic music and great finale!

Author: WdeBruin from Utrecht, The Netherlands
15 July 2003

I have just seen this movie at a press screening here in Amsterdam and must say this was one hell of a movie! Hell in the positive way! Every time Xiaochung( my Chinese is rusty) ended his concert, I wanted to stand up and applaud!

Story: 13-years old young boy travels with his father to the big city.The father has one goal: to make his son this best violin player. He tries to get him the best professor, but that is not enough. In the real world you need more. The professor realizes this but in China honor is very important. The boy thinks he has failed, but later on he understands. Particular the role of the father was wonderful. He wants the best for his son but hasn't the means to make it work. Xiaochung also discovers another part of growing.

I very much liked this movie, maybe because I am fan of Chinese movies, maybe because I have been there. There is drama, humor, very good music and a piece of the Chinese culture in this fantastic movie. By the way, the movie is from the director of Farewell to My Concubine, need I say more?

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Conquered emotions

9/10
Author: xalbets from Barcelona, Catalunya
26 April 2005

Since a long time ago i couldn't get out of cinema with my emotions deeply affected.

On the one hand, this film is an incredible explosion of emotion, full of rich details (providing an approximate idea of how is changing China and their values, using simple and a quite overacted scenes...) In my opinion, the film allow us to think about live, in many ways (economics, love, family, success, frustrations and purposes...etc...) using simple but emotionally deep scenes, where people's best is shown..

On the other hand, beyond performances and script, how music is related to personages and scenes is absolutely amazing...

From my humble point of view, one of the best cinema art expressions i've ever seen, taking into account what cinema is : a balanced relation between an history, images, light, music and emotions...

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