Thursday, July 14, 2011

“A BEAUTIFUL LIFE” (不再讓你孤單) HONG KONG MOVIE. LOVE means NEVER having to say you are SORRY?



Let’s say that “A BEAUTIFUL LIFE” could have made a better impression …..

given the fact that a teeny weeny bit of mush softens the heart,

and is naturally good for rejuvenating the human soul.

Besides, true love rises above all odds.

Yet the film falls short of expectations, despite a renowned film director and the stellar cast.

It should have stuck to its Chinese name, literally translated as “I’LL NEVER EVER LET YOU BE LONELY.”

The mood and tone is grim, cheerless and sombre …

and life is definitely not beautiful. as portrayed in the narrative.

Far from it.

Let’s address the latent issues.

SHU QI plays Li Peiru, a big city gal (from Hong Kong) with a bigger city dream.

A good start.

She is fiesty and fiery and would do anything for a quick fix to earn the extra cash.

When the film opens in a karaoke lounge, she is this real estate agent entertaining her client, eking a decent living in BEIJING.

She is having a hapless affair with her boss, a married man and is none the worse for it.

Perchance she encounters a naive albeit honest policeman Fang Zhen Dong (LIU YE) in the lounge and an unlikely relationship develops.

Fang falls hopelessly in love and is almost willing to go the long mile for her.

She instead, uses him as a “problem sponge” to absorb her non-stop whining regarding her many love problems.

He is selfless to a fault, having to care for his autistic younger brother.

She, on the other hand, is selfish and self-centered, trapped in her own dreamy world of easy living.

As time goes by and after a myriad of grueling incidents, they both find solace and true love in each other, only to be defeated by an ugly truth.

The man is slowly sinking into the throes of Alzeheimer’s Disease and their relationship may be doomed even before it can take flight.

ANDREW LAU of the Infernal Affairs fame is the film director.

He could have worked wonders with a more meaningful script.

The opening part featuring SHU QI in a drunken stupor spouting nonsense with LIU YE tends to be a tad too superfluous One can see that the beautiful actress is over-stretching her acting prowess with the dumb lines.

Also, the regular guys, the police colleagues of LIU YE become unintentional stooges providing the occasional comic relief as in the scene where LIU quits the Police Force and everybody salute him in a tearful farewell.

Intended to sear your tear ducts, a scene like this only succeeds to bring forth the shudders.

Oh, come on ……..

More the kind of feature that will appeal to the female gender, “A BEAUTIFUL LIFE” exemplifies the strong chemistry of SHU QI and LIU YE (though they have collaborated on other screen projects).

The 60s film LOVE STORY written by ERIC SEGAL has a classic line, “Love means never having to say you are sorry.”

It is so apt for this movie treatment that “could have been done better”.

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