7.2/10
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9 user 20 critic

The Sun Also Rises (2007)

Tai Yang Chao Chang Sheng Qi (original title)
Jiang Wen stars in his third directorial work that boasts a stellar cast including Joan Chen, Anthony Wong and Jaycee Chan. A polyptych of interconnected stories in different time-zones, ... See full summary »

Director:

Wen Jiang
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11 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Wen Jiang ... Teacher Tang
Joan Chen ... Dr. Lin (as Chong Chen)
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong ... Teacher Liang (as Qiusheng Huang)
Jaycee Chan ... The son (as Zuming Fang)
Yun Zhou ... Mad Mother
Wei Kong Wei Kong ... Tang's wife
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lei Chen Lei Chen ... Little Chen
Wei Chen Wei Chen ... Old Wang
Jian Cui ... Tang's friend in Beijing
Guiping Li Guiping Li ... Black Beauty Hei-mei
Xinqing Li Xinqing Li ... Tang Mei
Lei Pan Lei Pan ... A Lei
Lika Su Lika Su ... White Beauty Bai-mei
Xiguo Wu Xiguo Wu ... Old Wu
Zi Xi Zi Xi ... Old Li
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Storyline

Jiang Wen stars in his third directorial work that boasts a stellar cast including Joan Chen, Anthony Wong and Jaycee Chan. A polyptych of interconnected stories in different time-zones, shifting between a Yunnan village, a campus, and the Gobi Desert. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original cast included Tony Leung Chiu Wai, but finally Wen Jiang decided to replace Tony Leung with himself. See more »

User Reviews

 
The sun may rise, but the story here doesn't
22 October 2007 | by AdorableSee all my reviews

One major thing works against The Sun Also Rises. Its attempt to revisit the surreal mystery genre on a mainland China backdrop faces stiff competition from arguably among the best catalogs in that precise brand of storytelling, as the country witnessed a flood of excellent entries in this form circa the late 90's to early 2000's.

Anyone who's ever seen Lunar Eclipse, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, Chicken Poets, Dazzling, I Love You, Spring Subway and quite a few others, will easily tell you this.

Also, our friend Jiang Wen, although definitely a superb actor and major contributor to the recounting of tales, is probably better when he's poking serious fun at something, to wit In the Heat of the Sun and the unforgettable Devils at the Doorstep.

When it comes to psychedelia he may not be our first choice, as his previous brush with something similar, albeit as an actor in Green Tea, wasn't really all that hot. And in The Sun Also Rises, we have him as a director, which means he's had more to do with the project, yet the result doesn't feel all that strong. It's in many ways akin to The Missing Gun, another one of his projects and also a decent if uninspired venture.

For Sun Also Rises, Jiang enlisted his own wife, Zhou Yun, probably taking a leaf out of Chen Kaige's manuscript in this sense.

She plays a wacky southerner in some unnamed remote village who goes nuts over a pair of fish-ornamented shoes that never seem to stay put yet always come back, or are somehow found. This comes much to the dismay of her son, a young villager especially good with an abacus (Jaycee Chan). He tries to keep her from going crazy, to no avail, until she proceeds to dig strange holes in the ground, go floating on the river and generally get up to all kinds of irrational mayhem. Nothing seems to help, nor ease her anguish as she keeps calling to someone named Alyosha.

In a different story arc, we move to another part of China (each story takes place in a compass bearing, no place names with the exception of a Beijing cameo), where academics find themselves in a bizarre twist of passion. Here, Jiang Wen and Anthony Wong play what are presumably educators in a secluded rural campus, while Joan Chen does a horny doctor who gets everyone worked up. There are accusations of perversion and hints-a-plenty that this is taking place during the Cultural Revolution.

The third segment in this multi-threaded affair brings a few of the characters together as Jiang Wen and his on-screen wife (Kong Wei) are sent off to the southern village to be "re-educated" in the proper ways of hard work, all under the tutelage of Jaycee Chan's character. Here too lust plays a role, but no caution, it's all friendly in the end.

Finally, the fourth part brings clever closure to the stories, featuring pretty much all the main characters and having that "Ah! That's what that was all about!" effect to a large degree, which is nice. However, it also has Zhou Yun deliver among the most screechingly irritating scenes in movie history.

The Sun Also Rises is one of those OK'ish movies that somehow leaves you thinking there's a couple more viewing in it, so go ahead, give it a chance, you may learn something.

It also fields some of Jiang's old gags from previous movies, another boon, but isn't as witty as some of the other works he's been in and basically has no strong message that we could discern. And unlike those other surreal pictures we discussed earlier, this one opts for bombastic presentation that's completely unlike the understated beauty the genre craves. It makes us think the Kunming department of tourism had a hand in this.

But still, give it a shot, you may enjoy what you get.


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Details

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin | Russian | Uighur

Release Date:

21 September 2007 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

太陽照常升起 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,273,426
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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