A strange choice of topics for a Chinese film maker at a time when concerns about mental health and attacks on school children are roiling the country. With a focus on several topics, including depression, materialism, divorce, romantic obsession, the film loses its way and ultimately falls apart. The story meanders through the lives of several people, a free-thinking college professor who is institutionalized merely for the suggestion that most people are a little crazy, a materialistic model whose dreams of marrying into money disintegrates into depression, and a tonic salesman involved in both a romantic rivalry and failed marriage. At times very low-brow satire, at other times striving for thoughtful introspection, there is, unfortunately, little overall continuity in the progression of the story. Most unfortunate is the film's take on mental health professionals, who are largely portrayed as incompetent, self-serving buffoons. This is hardly the view one would hope to find on display in a country with a serious need for a more expansive healthcare role for mental health.
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