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Lin Dong and Wang Mei are a childless couple in Beijing, wealthy, approaching middle age. Lin owns a foot-massage parlor. One afternoon he rapes one of his workers, Liu Pingguo, who has nearly passed out from drinking alcohol with a friend. Part of the assault is witnessed by Liu's husband, An Kun, a window washer. He's angry with the boss and with his wife, and he seeks compensation. Lin's wife counsels him and joins in revenge. Then, Liu realizes she's pregnant and a set of emotional calculations ensues: Lin wants to buy the child, Wang agrees but has conditions, An Kun goes back and forth and barely contains his anger; Liu withdraws. The baby comes. Can anything be sorted out? Written by
This is the first movie I've seen come out of Mainland China of respectable quality. I'll admit I haven't seen many, but from what I have seen, this is certainly above and beyond.
The story is about a poor migrant couple and a wealthy couple living in Beijing. Their lives become intertwined through a set of unfortunate and somewhat disturbing circumstances.
I'm not perfectly fluent in Mandarin, but the acting was good from all four main characters. The less experienced Bingbing Fang was especially good as Ping Guo, the lead character. The scenery is set amid the toxic haze of a sprawling Beijing with lots of greys and muted colours.
The best thing about the movie for me was the amazing contrast between the lives of the rich and the poor. Even though I'm surrounded by it daily, this movie gives a little bit more intimacy than what I'm normally exposed to. Other common themes were greed and face.
Ultimately, the production values of the movie were very good, from the cinematography to the acting, but the conclusion doesn't really leave you with a good taste in your mouth. I think this is good though, because it sticks closer to what reality might be like, instead of having clearly defined heroes and antagonists with a full circle ending.
23 of 32 people found this review helpful.
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