Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer remembers him.
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Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming) and Feng Wanyu (Gong Li) are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband's return. A stranger alone in the heart of his broken family, Lu Yanshi determines to resurrect their past together and reawaken his wife's memory. Written by
This is a very interesting idea for a film and actually criticizes, indirectly, recent Chinese history. Both made me excited to see the film...yet, sadly, I found the film incredibly flat....well acted but flat and lifeless.
The film begins during the so-called 'Cultural Revolution' in mainland China. It was a period in Communist Chinese history when Mao set off a period where supposed remnants of decadence and capitalism were purged. What actually happened is that intellectuals, professors and others were violently beaten, killed or imprisoned by student groups. Nothing much came of this movement (my opinion, of course, but one supported by most historians) and it mostly just made a lot of folks miserable. During this time, Lu is arrested for his decadence though exactly what he supposedly did is never mentioned in the film. Instead, he simply disappears and he finally returns home many, many years later. However, he's shocked to see that his wife's mind has snapped and Feng no longer recognizes him...and even calls out for help when he enters the home! All the while she keeps insisting throughout the film that 'Yu will be coming home on the 5th'...though in her mind the 5th never arrives.
So the setup for this is very interesting as is Yu's attempt to get his wife to recognize him. However, ultimately the film goes no where and is just depressing and tedious. The pacing is THE problem with the film, though the downbeat ending didn't help. Too bad, as the concept and the acting are quite good.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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