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Suzhou River [DVD] [2000]

4 customer reviews

Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Xun Zhou, Hongshen Jia, Zhongkai Hua, Anlian Yao, Nai An
  • Directors: Ye Lou
  • Writers: Ye Lou
  • Producers: Nai An, Brock Norman Brock, Jian Wei Han, Philippe Bober, Susanne Martin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Dec. 2003
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00011FXJG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,996 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Weaving together the themes of Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' and the rich visual style of Wong Kar-Wai, Lou Ye's film tells the story of the young lovers Mardar (Jia Hongsheng) and Moudan (Zhou Xun). Mardar is a small-time crook and Moudan is his boss' teenage daughter; they meet when he is asked to act as her minder and a romance quickly develops between them. However, he is soon persuaded to kidnap her and when she hears of this her heartbreak is such that she throws herself into the depths of the Suzhou River. Sometime later, after a spell in prison, the devastated Mardar meets Meimei, a nightclub dancer who bears a striking resemblance to his lost love....

From Amazon.co.uk

A film from China directed by Lou Ye, Suzhou River is a story of doomed romantic love very different from the social realism of many contemporary Chinese films. Set in modern Shanghai, it's about Mardar, a motorcycle courier who gets involved with Moudan, the daughter of a businessman. When she learns he's implicated in a scheme to kidnap her, she jumps off a bridge into the river. Devastated, Mardar refuses to believe Moudan has drowned and eventually thinks he's found her, now performing a mermaid act in a sleazy bar. But the narrator of the story tells him she's Meimei, another woman. Which of them is right? The story has strong echoes of the Hitchcock classic Vertigo, in which James Stewart searches for his lost love. Stylishly shot, teasingly told, this is an intriguing film with a melancholy ending, though Zhou Xun, who plays both female parts, doesn't quite have the charisma of Vertigo's Kim Novak. --Ed Buscombe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By duirsgrove on 1 Sept. 2006
Format: DVD
I wasn't sure what this was at first and even after I thought I was getting an idea, my ideas then changed as the story or more accurately stories evolve with further characters or scenarios and background information thrown in. It's quite slow paced with lots of observing and reflection but there's no space for falling asleep as things are always moving along in background scenes, in newly informative flashbacks or by the narration. Simple becomes complicated, good and bad intertwine continually and sympathies change between the characters. Part love story, part suspense it ties in well with other Chinese modern cinema and is very reminicent of Wong Kar Wai movies with narration, tragedy and general love themes - more so than for me the Vertigo parallels. The main difference is that this is visually more realistic and actually features physical death. Timespan is somewhat suspended as it moves between time and person making it hard to get the full picture at once. Acting is natural, situations believable with a large element of fairytale, dreams, hope, love, tragedy, salvation and acceptance - all revolving around the river. More than a little confusing, and very heart wrenching - like Open your eyes, could probably do with a few viewings to figure it all out.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David J Wills on 14 Feb. 2005
Format: DVD
Suzhou River
Suzhou River is a fine slacker's opera, an examination of the lethargic heart stumbling into a story of bittersweet emotion that exposes the lie that we all love fairytales. Shot from the viewpoint of Rosaline as that strumpet Juliet steals her man it is the story of the soul that loses when destiny stomps through, and loses because it is emotionally deficient. It is a film that reflects the drowning of a dull ordinary Shanghainese individual when briefly touched by beautiful people, and as a result many anywhere will empathise.
There are only 4 main characters, two of which may or may not be the same person: the narrator and cameraman, never revealed but loitering as omnipotent, the faceless normality of society; the tragic lovers who exist as first fable then reality as motorcycle courier Mardar returns from the wilderness; and the narrator's girlfriend who bears a remarkable likeness to the girl Mardar lost and for whom he is searching. Such a simple set-up is paramount to the notion that Suzhou River is a story founded in emotions rather than action, the characters burning slowly around each other as time inches them closer to conflict, very much akin to the desperate world inhabited by the protagonists in Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood For Love. A few devices are added to create the necessary parables to fairytales and their romanticised nature - most notably the mermaid concept - but at its core Suzhou River is an anti-panto with heroes replaced by locals. It is not, however, a morose watch; certainly all the characters are tinged with the sadness of fading dreams, but they also bring the humour and natural reactions of common souls. It is, in a manner, Mike Leigh in Shanghai filming Cinderella on a camcorder.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Jun. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I first saw this film in the cinema and I freely admit that I didn't think it was my type of movie but I loved it! Suzhou River is a beautifully moving story of corruption, betrayal, loss and redemption which continues to fascinate long after the closing credits. I'd wholeheartedly recommend this film to anyone who loves a mystery.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Be patient with this film - like the Suzhou River itself it may meander but it has depth; Beautifully filmed and performed Suzhou River is a Chinese film noir.
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