The river Suzhou that flows through Shanghai is a reservoir of filth, chaos and poverty, but also a meeting place for memories and secrets. Lou Ye, who spent his youth on the banks of the ...
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The river Suzhou that flows through Shanghai is a reservoir of filth, chaos and poverty, but also a meeting place for memories and secrets. Lou Ye, who spent his youth on the banks of the Suzhou, shows the river as a Chinese Styx, in which forgotten stories and mysteries come together. Mardar, a motorcycle courier in his mid-twenties, rides all over the city with all kinds of packages for his clients. He knows every inch and is successful thanks to the fact that he never asks questions. One day he is asked by a shady alcohol smuggler to deliver his sixteen-year-old daughter, Moudan, to her aunt. Mardar and Moudan grow fond of each other. But their tender happiness is disrupted when Moudan thinks that Mardar has kidnapped her for a ransom. She is so disappointed in him that she jumps off the bridge into the Suzhou River. Mardar is now suspected of murder. When a couple of years later he comes out of jail, he meets the dancer Meimei, an alter-ego of Moudan, and becomes fascinated by her.Written by
Bastiaan van Gestel <email@example.com>
Suzhou River's beginning represents an extremely compelling film. It has it all - a great narrative, great acting, great score, and it is emotionally involving. But the director/screenwriter throws it all away when he decides simply to revert back to Sir Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. Vertigo is one of those films that is impossible to top, so it is just a waste of time to try.
Here is my experience during Suzhou River, after having enjoyed the first 30 minutes or so immensely: I hear the score sampling Bernard Herrmann's Vertiginous theme, and see the camera quoting the film, and my mind immediately jumped back on my dreamlike memories of Vertigo. It's as if Suzhou River disappeared. Near the end, the film started to become a little more original, and my daydreams faded, but I was pretty lost at that point.
Don't get me wrong. Suzhou River is still a fine film. I would actually like someone to remake most of it, taking out the Vertigo homage and inserting something more original. 7/10
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