Yu Hong leaves her home village and starts university in Beijing, where she develops a consuming and compulsive relationship with another student. The student riots from 1989 then ensue and ... Read allYu Hong leaves her home village and starts university in Beijing, where she develops a consuming and compulsive relationship with another student. The student riots from 1989 then ensue and take a toll on their lives.Yu Hong leaves her home village and starts university in Beijing, where she develops a consuming and compulsive relationship with another student. The student riots from 1989 then ensue and take a toll on their lives.
This movie is centered in love. More exactly, it is centered in the romantic view of life, which is destined to collide with the fact of growing up, because the characters in the film just can't manage to keep their passionate feelings while they start living other things after leaving university. It is as if life and circumstances pushes them to leave behind their memories, the anchor that seems to keep the characters living and knowing that they are someone. I think it is interesting how this is managed as the film goes by, because I recognized this feeling in myself and among my friends: about how, by leaving school, you have the feeling to be adrift in the universe of life.
Also, the passion that the characters feel becomes sedated by the tedium of their lives after school. I think the director tries to communicate that feeling: after university, the characters start to get bored with their lives, compared with what they lived in school. It is sad to look how the woman character struggles to keep that feeling alive, but always feeling depressed because she can't grasp that passion that just goes away. They travel, they meet other people, they get jobs, but simply it's not the same. This is also related to the student's protests in China, all the feelings and expectations they generate, and the disillusion they found when they have to confront the real world.
Finally, I think what the film communicates, is that every emotion, love, feeling or whatsoever, is seized by time. This is something that the characters just don't get and the reason of why they suffer: they can't accept that they are different from the ones that were young and passionate. Even in long marriages, couples have to reinvent themselves to keep together each other, or simply they fall in the arms of custom. This last thing is what the characters refuse to do, always trying to keep their feelings alive. But that's also the reason of why they suffer, especially the woman character: they live attached to their memories and they leave part of their identity in the past. I think that a phrase that is showed in the french movie "Irreversible" could fit perfectly on this one: TIME DESTROYS EVERYTHING. But in this film, this phrase applies in a more subtle way, in something that involves people's identities.
I liked the movie. It was one of those which you can't get out of your head for the rest of the day. The acting is good and the music is great. If there is something to criticize, is that the film is a little bit too long for what it express, specially at the second part of the film. I found other criticism unfounded: sex is an important part of the film, since it express passion, and it's definitely NOT a soap opera, because it doesn't have a happy ending and it has a message that you have to discover by thinking and feeling the film.
I recommend this one.
- Nov 30, 2008