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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Double-Life, Chinese, Mystery Tale, 15 Jan. 2014
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mystery [DVD] (DVD)
This is a French / Chinese co production in Mandarin and was premiered at Cannes in 2012. It tells of the story of a woman Lu Jie who seems to be happily married to a young, good looking and successful young man - who dotes on their daughter. Whilst out playing in the park one day she befriends another woman as their two children seem to get along swimmingly. We also have the mystery of a girl who has been knocked down and killed on the by pass after being apparently attacked.

The police are reluctant to look too closely at the case as the family of the boy who ran her over is very well connected. As Lu Jie becomes more aware of things not being all rosy in her garden she slowly comes to realise that her husband is leading a double life. The story that unfolds will lead to her finding out more than she ever really wanted to have known and will have consequences for all involved.

This is an interesting film; the double life part is only one strand but is central to all the sub plots. It is filmed in ways that give a poetry and even majesty to some of the scenes which really works. There is some violence but not gratuitous and some pretty rough love making too. It is well acted and directed and has a run time of 98 mins. It is for fans of World cinema and is probably on the dark side as tales go. There is also some social comment about modern China, the haves and the have not's and a landscape littered with soul-less tower blocks but like all good films this is really a story about the human condition and what drives us to do things that are out of character. Original title was `Fu Cheng mi shi' and still not released in mainland China as far as I can tell but a very interesting and watchable film in any case.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Darkly romantic, modestly poetic and cinematographic...", 20 Nov. 2013
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Chinese screenwriter, producer and director Lou Ye`s seventh feature film which he co-produced and co-wrote with Chinese screenwriters Yu Fan and Mei Feng after a story by Li Yongfang, is inspired by an online diary by "Watching The Moon Leave" on Tianya community. It premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 65th Cannes International Film Festival in 2012, was shot on location in Beijing, China and is a China-France co-production which was produced by producers Chen Xi, Nai An and Kristina Larsen. It tells the story about a woman named Lu Jie who lives in an apartment block in China with her husband named Qiao Yongzhao and their daughter named An`an. One rainy day when Lu is at a playground with An`an she meets a woman named Sang Qi whom is there with her son named Yuhang and who insists that they meet again. Lu and Sang meets again and their children get to play together, and when they meet for the third time at a cafe, Lu learns that Sang thinks her husband is having an affair.

Subtly and engagingly directed by Asian filmmaker Lou Ye, this finely paced fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from one of the female main characters` point of view, draws an instantly intriguing and multifaceted portrayal of the excruciating consequences of a successful father`s liaisons and the evolving relationship between two mothers. While notable for its distinct and naturalistic milieu depictions, reverent cinematography by film editor and cinematographer Zeng Jian, art direction by art directors Du Luxi and Peng Shaoying and use of sound, colors and light, this character-driven and narrative-driven story about whether or not it is justifiable to exonerate someone whom has committed an unlawful act and then rationalizes that deed as instigated under the influence of love and as beyond moral judgment, the casualties of other people`s love and where a wife learns new things about her husband and makes a new acquaintance, a husband is keeping secrets, a police officer whom is in the midst of an investigation is assisted by his friend who hasn`t gotten over his ex-girlfriend and two children are becoming friends, depicts three isolating and merging studies of character and contains a great and timely score by composer Peyman Yazdanian.

This surprising, quietly conversational, atmospheric and psycho-emotional drama triangle, love-story and moral mystery which is set in the capital city of China in the 21st century and where a Chinese family is receiving strange phone calls at night, the life of a college student named Sun Xiaomin is marred by other people`s jealousy and recklessness and a severe crime remains classified as a car accident, is impelled and reinforced by its fragmented narrative structure, substantial character development, rhythmic continuity, distinct music by Icelandic musician Jóhann Jóhannsson, internally conflicted characters, straightforward depiction of its central themes, tragic undertones, scenes of Lu and scenes between Lu and Sang and the prominent and understated acting performances by Chinese actresses Hao Lei and Qi Xi and Chinese actor Qin Hao. A darkly romantic, modestly poetic and cinematographic character piece which gained, among other awards, the award for Best Film at the 7th Asian Film Awards in 2013.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Oct. 2014
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very well
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Mystery [DVD] by Ye Lou (DVD - 2013)
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