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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

[9.00/10] Aftershock (2010)


Aftershock (2010)

Feng Xiaogang’s disaster drama "Aftershock" is based on the 1976 Tangshan earthquake that claimed the lives of at least 240,000 people, making the tragedy the largest earthquake of the 20th century by death toll. It deals with the heartbreaking fallout between a mother, played by Fan Xu, and her quake-surviving daughter, played by Jingchu Zhang, and their eventual reconciliation. "Aftershock"'s plot is multi-layered and complex with all the small sub-plots introduced during the developement of the story, but the film is so perfectly-paced and the setting is so picturesque, it's super-gripping and enormously entertaining. Director Feng Xiaogang doesn't deliver an ordinary disaster film that relies on heavy CGIs and the earthquake itself, but one that touches deeply the essence of our heart and soul, by affecting some truly important themes of personal human drama such as sacrifice, loss, sorrow, hope, survival, love. The entire cast deliver stellar performances. Zhang Jingchu's acting is remarkable. Her performance is very believable and touching, without being overly melodramatic. Chen Daoming is just as incredible, as the caring father of Zhang. Xu Fan, who is Feng Xiaogang’s wife in real life, delivers a sensational, emotionally-charged performance as the mother, who expresses sincere grief at the loss of her daughter to perfection! The earthquake sequence is so impressively-handled and so terrifying, it's more frightening and chilling than any other scary scene in horror movie this year. It's sad and shocking, yet breathtaking to watch. Feng Xiaogang's direction is fascinatingly elaborated and truly top-notch, and the script is precisely and smartly written, paying great attention to all the characters in the film and interactions between them. The cinematography is rich in details, striking and truly arresting, capturing the period incredibly well. Aside from the predictable melodramatic climax, "Aftershock" is a masterfully-crafted, visually-spectacular and emotionally-powerful disaster drama, that perfectly combines fiction with actual historical events. A triumph of style AND substance!

  • My Rating: 9.00/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
  • IMDb: 7.5/10

4 comments:

Jaccstev said...

Great review buddy! Glad to know you have the same opinion with me about this film. Above all the tearjerking sequences, the film show a spirit to everyone saying that although living things were destroyed but we must overcome the difficultly that we faced in real life.
People who didn't find something in this film or said it was disappointing are just a pile of heartless human I think.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll look for it then!

Nebular said...

Thanks, Jaccs! :) I was really impressed with it. Feng Xiaogang executed it brilliantly! It's a disaster movie with a heart... a big heart! "Aftershock" is everything, but disappointing. People saying that has to be emotionless or at least empty-headed. :)

Nebular said...

Alex, in fact, it doesn't even have a US distributor yet.