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movie reviews

The Road Home Sep 5, 2011

The Road Home

Rating: star star star star star (5 stars out of 5)
Original Title: Wo de fu qin mu qin
Release Date: 2000
Cast: Ziyi Zhang, Honglei Sun and Hao Zheng
Director: Yimou Zhang
Writer: Shi Bao (novel), Shi Bao (screenplay)
Genre: Love story
Awards: Berlin International Film Festival, Bodil Awards, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, Cinema Writers Circle Awards (Spain), Fajr Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, Golden Rooster Awards and many more
Run Time: 89 minutes

The movie is set in the post cultural revolution in north rural China with English subtitles and English narration. The son returns to the village of his parents to learn of his father's passing. His mother insists on having the body hand-carried by pall bearers from the city along the long road back to the village in keeping with the old tradition and as a final respect to her husband. There were difficulties. The son reminisces on the memorable courtship his parents had which became widely known in the village. The movie is basically a flashback to the courtship between the beautiful young villager and the teacher from the city.

This movie underscores the huge divide between hollywood movies from the ones coming from cultures not American. Don't get me wrong. Hollywood knows how to make movies - they've done a lot of masterpieces. But after a while, you begin to get a sense of its homogenuity - there's always that common denominator that gives it know it's Hollywood.

Review / Thoughts
It's been awhile that a movie blew me away the way this one did. This poignant love story has a particular gentleness to it. It gracefully moved in its unperturbed pace, restrained, subtle, but at the same time intense. The movie is not as much on talk as it is on visual narrative. With just a few dialogue, few narration but rich in cinematic scope, the movie is woven into a life-like story that takes you inside the movie. It feels like you're one of the villagers who was there to witness the story as it happened. The story throws you back when courtship was a fragile and delicate ritual...when the players take their moment, simply allowing things to happen in its own sweet pace until the time is right. Zhang Ziyi played the role magnificently - younger, fresher, and perhaps more innocent-looking. In the same manner the French never rush to uncork a vintage Bordeaux before its time, this movie is akin to that. Things worth having are worth waiting for.

I don't know how you can get hold of this movie, but do find a way. It's worth your while.

--- TheLoneRider

The following people like this story:

Tomas Felipe Argosino Leonor

Haidee Mia Bustillos

Dan Rivera

Reader Comments:

Michael FazackerleyMichael Fazackerley
(Sep 21, 2011) One of my all time favourites.

Dan RiveraDan Rivera
(Sep 21, 2011) Nice film! The past on colored, the present on b&w :D

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