When a mysterious death occurs, the lives of five unexpected strangers are suddenly intertwined together. A drug trafficking crime is unveiled, and through the twist and turns of the ... See full summary »
When a mysterious death occurs, the lives of five unexpected strangers are suddenly intertwined together. A drug trafficking crime is unveiled, and through the twist and turns of the investigation, their stories unravel, and a bizarre connection is gradually discovered between them. THE EQUATION OF LOVE AND DEATH weaves together three different love stories, examining the different emotional struggles people go through in dealing with pain and lost, and how letting go might just be the hardest thing to do. Written by
"Equation of love and death" is not a superb film. Rather, it's a simple story (crafted suspense notwithstanding) that is well told with cinematic techniques. I suspect that told as a stage play or a book, this story will not be as engaging. For his trouble, Cao Baoping is rewarded with the honour of Best New Director at the San Sebastian film festival.
Unlike the pompous English title, the original Chinese title is sweetly simple: "Li Mi's guesses". Zhou Xun plays the title role Li Mi, an undistinguished taxi driver. Her "guesses" pertain to why her boyfriend, a high school sweetheart who went off to seek his fortune four years ago, refused to show up again despite writing her over 50 detailed letters over the period they are apart. The problem with the script is its grossly over-dependence on coincidences people happen to be at places at a certain times. Sensible restraint however, is evident, in not overplaying the suspense and twists, as the story unfold with accidents, crimes and searches for the truth. Even better is the dialogue which is crisp at to-the-point.
Obviously, the soul of this movie is Zhou Xun. One local film reviewer refers wittily to her effort to "ugly-up" to give credence to the role. I suspect that to the huge population of devoted Zhou Xun fans, her natural looks make her even more adorable. But it's performance that really counts and in this department, said fans can be proud of her too. She is also supported by a superb cast led by two excellent actors from the enormously successful movie "Assembly": Zhang Hanyu as the taciturn police inspector who helps her and Deng Chao as the boyfriend who tries to elude her.
As mentioned, under the suspense-thriller packaging, this is really quite a simple story. As a motion picture, it has been rendered interesting and absorbing, through skillful direction and excellent acting.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?