6.6/10
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Zhou Yu de huo che (2002)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 1 August 2002 (China)
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Zhou Yu, a ceramic decorative artist, travels twice a week from her home town of San Ming to Chongyang to visit her boyfriend, Chen Qing, a government worker and budding poet. The two met ... See full summary »

Director:

Zhou Sun

Writers:

Cun Bei (novel), Zhou Sun | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Li Gong ... Zhou Yu / Xiu
Tony Ka Fai Leung ... Chen Qing
Honglei Sun ... Zhang Qiang
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Zhixiong Li Zhixiong Li
Chunling Shi Chunling Shi ... Xiang
Yanhui Wang Yanhui Wang
Heng Zhang ... Zhang Qiang's sister
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Storyline

Zhou Yu, a ceramic decorative artist, travels twice a week from her home town of San Ming to Chongyang to visit her boyfriend, Chen Qing, a government worker and budding poet. The two met at a dance while Chen Qing was in San Ming, his old home town, on a business trip. She is the inspiration for the best of his poetry. Zhou Yu is a strong willed woman, whereas Cheng Qing is a sensitive soul. These differences in addition to the growing disparity in their life situations places an unspoken strain in their relationship, despite each truly loving the other. As such, Zhou Yu befriends Zhang Qiang, a veterinarian who travels on the same trains as her. Like Zhou Yu, Zhang Qiang is a strong personality whose emotional temperament more closely matches hers. Ultimately, the three, individually and collectively, have to decide if, and if so how each of the others fits into his/her future life, especially as Cheng Qing has to make a further decision about his professional life. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Her love is torn between a doctor and a poet. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics (us)

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

1 August 2002 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Zhou Yu's Train See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,933, 18 July 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$141,666, 7 November 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Zhou Yu and Zhang get off the train at the deserted Xan Hu Station she is wearing brown shoes. They set off to look for Xan Hu Lake. While walking on the grassy slopes looking for the Lake, Zhou Yu is now wearing sneakers with blue tops and thick white rubber soles. When they get back to the train station, she is wearing brown shoes again. Her pocketbook is very flat and not fat enough to hold a spare pair of footwear. See more »

Quotes

narrator: [subtitled version] I finally understand that a lover is a mirror, through which you can see yourself more clearly.
See more »

Connections

Features Jamón, Jamón (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Passionate Love in a Changing China
20 July 2004 | by Ralph Michael SteinSee all my reviews

Li Gong, better known as Gong Li in the West, stars in this taut, probing but occasionally confusing love story set in today's China. Extraordinarily beautiful and also very accomplished as an actress, Gong Li is on a hiatus from historical spectacles and films with a threatening, for the government, political subtext. I doubt any cultural satrap was put out by "Zhou Yu's Train."

Zhou Yu paints bucolic and traditional scenes on cheap porcelain before they're finished and sent out to the world's Chinatowns or Chinese cities for sale to tourists. She's talented but so are all the other women in her shop. Great art this ain't.

Zhou Yu regularly takes the train to another city where her not brimming with self-confidence poet boyfriend, Chen Qing, lives. Chen is played by Tony Leung Kafai. On the train she meets veterinarian Zhang Quiang, Hanglei Sun. He pursues her and a triangle develops, not an original one at that.

Director Zhou Sun has Zhou Yu torn between a poet whose so far failed efforts at recognition she wishes to reinvigorate and advance and a country farm animal vet, a more lighthearted chap. The train is a metaphor for separation and emotional journeying. The train takes her between worlds, not just stations.

A bit confusing, at least with subtitles, is Gong Li's second role as a narrator who appears at various points but who also has a direct relationship, apparently platonic, with Chen. Perhaps it's clearer to those who understand Chinese.

While Gong Li has several passionate love scenes, she orgasms without getting undressed, a tired sop to Chinese moral values which impact on directors' freedom. A shower scene shows nothing below her shoulders. Erotic? Actually, very.

The highpoint of the movie is Gong Li's total and believable immersion in a role that isn't very out of the ordinary. But her acting makes the audience care about the resolution of her dilemma, one that I suspect many viewers will not like.

Tony Leung Kafai and Hanglei Sun turn in fine performances in roles clearly subordinated to Zhou Yu's centrality in the tale.

This story would amount to a "B" film if populated by Americans living in the rural Midwest. But as a look at changing mores in China it justifies a

7/10.


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