Note: Chinese with English subtitles.
How long could you sit and watch a film about a young eighteen year old Chinese girl standing by the side of the road waiting for a certain male school teacher to passby, then only smiling when he finally appears? Well, if the girl is the lovely and expressive Zhang Ziyi the correct answer is quite a long time.
Set in a quiet, rural village in a remote area of China director Yimou Zhang has translated a tender love story between Luo Changyu (Zheng Hao) a newly arrived school teacher and Zhao Yuelin (Zhang Ziyi), one of the local villagers, into a visual poem of young love in its purest, most innocent form.
Focusing on Zhao as she goes about her daily tasks and routines we seem to experience first-hand her feelings and affection for the new teacher intensifying with each passing day. Every thought, every deed seems orchestrated in such a way as to bring her ever closer to her one true love.
Zhang Ziyi is amazing! With an absolute minimal amount of dialogue she succeeds in conveying all her emotional yearnings and desires visually; through her eyes, delicate facial expressions and subtle body movements and gestures. She is truly a remarkable and gifted actress.
The film starts out slowly, but stay with it. It gets alot better once Zhang Ziyi appears on-screen.