Monday, July 31, 2006
I watched a Chinese film called "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles" (千里走单骑). I didn't know this is a new film by the famous director Zhang Yi-mou until when the credit starts to roll at the end. I would not have guessed since I am not impressed by this film although there are some moving moments in the film with strong performance from the "Clint Eastwood" of Japan: Ken Takakura (高倉健).
Ken Takakura plays a father who has an estranged relationship with his dying son. Desperately seeking reconnection with his son, he went to China to film Chinese folk opera hoping to finish his son's unfinished project.
Is filming that opera that important? Is that the most important thing he can do for his dying son? Well, I am glad that the film didn't shy away from my question and actually I am pleased with the script to answer this question. I am glad that director Zhang Yi-mou has not faded away completely. But I think he must be drunk when he shot and kept(!) the scene of opera performance in the prison. Why in the world did those prisoners shed tears when listening to the badly performed Chinese opera? Uh?
I love the village chief character. He is perhaps the most realistic character in the film. Others characters are like furniture on the set, no much life in them.
The movie is quite sentimental, but there is not much base to build the emotion, so even Ken Takakura is quite effective, the entire movie falls flat.
My rating: 6 out of 10.