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Nuan is Guo Xiaodong's first step on international film industry.
Movie "Nuan" attracted my attention not because it received the Grand Prix of Tokyo International Film Festival of 2004, or because its director, Mr. Hao Jianqi's poetic style of movie making and stunning ability of story telling; I brought the DVD due to a very simple reason, its leading actor, Guo Xiaodong who played the role of Lin Jinhe. I have watched several of Guo Xiaodong's movies and TV dramas, of which "Colonel's Daughter" is the one that touched my soul and heart, and brought Guo to the front view of my star watching. I was hoping "Nuan" would bring me a new appreciation of his acting skill while unwrapping the DVD, and I was fully intoxicated by the beauty of this movie.
The movie started with Jinhe, the narrator, after a brief visit, leaving the small village where he spent his childhood, and had not returned for ten years. At the end of the two-way bamboo bridge outside of the village, Jinhe ran into Nuan, the girl whom he loved when he was a teenager, and promised to come back to marry when he was leaving for a college in a big city. Accompanied by Jinhe's soul searching narration, the movie interlocks the happy and dreamy teenage years of Nuan and Jinhe with Nuan's mundane life in her current home, and leads us through a visual and emotional trip of "warm" love, "cold" waiting, cruel dream-breaking, and alleviating forgiveness. Guo Xiaodong vividly portrayed Jinhe as an honest and timid teenage country boy although he was actually 10 years older than the role he played. As a native Chinese speaker, I had the privilege to experience and enjoy the narration that did not carry too much change of tunes and volume, but sounded like a gentle creek of emotion flowing out of Jinhe's heart. Guo Xiaodong's narration comes from his deep understanding and identifying with Jinhe's life and dilemma for he himself was once a happy, honest and dreamy country boy. Director Huo Jianqi generously extended the display of the bluish mountains, tranquilizing creeks, waiving reeds, swimming ducks, all of which allow the audience to appreciate the idyllic rural life, reflect their own bittersweet life experiences evoked by the soothing play of bamboo flute; and to certain extends, search their soul for kind and forgiveness.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and I was totally mesmerized by Guo Xiaodong's brilliant performance. I wholeheartedly recommend it to these who want to see the true character and virtue of Chinese man displayed by both the role and in person of Mr. Guo Xiaodong. Guo Xiaodong is going to be the next big hit in both Chinese and international film industry, and I open my arm to welcome the coming of the "Phoenix from East".
"Nuan" is the first movie Guo Xiaodong made that achieved international reorganization. His later works include "Peach Blossom" (2003), "Summer Palace" (2004), "The Warlords" (2007), "The Power and Beauty' (2007), "Missing" (2007). His TV dramas include "The Era of New Marriage" (2006), "Colonel's Daughter"(2005).
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