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Two grifters, Wang Bo and Wang Li, a couple who've been arguing, board a train in rural China. He wants to fleece a peasant, nicknamed Dumbo for his naiveté, who's carrying 60,000 yuan and trusts everyone. She wants to protect the hick kid, an act of expiation brought on by prayer and a visit to a temple. Also on board are one of more sets of thieves, including a calculating boss and his femme fatale. The boss wants to recruit Wang Bo, and a series of contests ensue, with the potential of turning deadly. While Li guards Dumbo from Bo and the others, can she and Bo sort out their relationship? And can Dumbo's simple spirituality touch anyone else?Written by
I don't know a lot about Chinese film but I've seen some of the recent Kung fu hits (House of flying daggers, Redcliff, all entertaining for their genre but fairly empty productions) and this one is a real gem--a tight well woven plot, touching and interesting characters and some classic Chinese hero traits (think superhuman abilities that often defy gravity) suavely transposed into the world of petty thieves with a light and gentle touch that makes you almost forget some of the gestures are probably physically impossible. The music score is pitch perfect, light, jazzy, with just a hint of something deeper and sadder.
The acting is superb and the script really keeps you guessing. Scenes hover somewhere between outright hilarity, touching irony, and fleeting hints of the genuinely tragic. There is rarely a false note and the actor who plays the intellectually limited villager pulls off a terrific balancing act: he manages to be naive and rustic without slipping into Forest Gumpy type nonsense....
Well worth the viewing...
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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