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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

[9.00/10] Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010)


Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010)

Brief review: After his sumptuous piece of eye candy, "Curse of the Golden Flower", Chinese master Zhang Yimou is back to being himself with this deeply-touching love story, that takes place during Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and '70s. Though quite simple, this romance between a young woman and a man from different economic backgrounds, is probably the purest love story ever put on film. From the enthralling beginning to the tearjerking finale, everything about this beautifully-told story feels real, authentic and sincere, and you may find yourself emotionally involved with the characters and their feelings. Even though, this is Dongyu Zhou's first time in front of the camera, her performance is nothing short of impressive. She acts extremely naturally as the tender and innocent Jing Qiu, who faces life's struggles with strong will, and you can't help but feel engaged with her delicate, yet lovely personality. Shawn Dou, who's also widely unknown, is absolutely captivating and very likable as Zhou's love interest, who's extremely loyal and dedicated to his feelings for Jing. Though not nearly as lush and lavish, as Yimou's previous masterpieces "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers", "Under the Hawthorn Tree" is equally as stunning, visually. The Chinese countryside scenery is breathtaking, and beautifully-captured by Yimou's camera, almost to the point of distraction. The muted color palette, used by cinematographer is smooth, elegant and gentle as the film itself, and the art direction dazzles with its simplicity.

Overall summary: Remarkably genuine, profoundly moving and beautifully-filmed, "Under the Hawthorn Tree" is yet another gem in the crown of Zhang Yimou's amazingly impressive filmography.

6 comments:

Melissa Bradley said...

I have got to see this. I love a great romantic story, that's why I started writing. To me there is nothing more powerful than love.

Nebular said...

Melissa, it was a beautiful and very innocent love story. It really moved me! You should definitely see this one, I reckon you're gonna love it! I absolutely agree, there's nothing more powerful than love! :)

Jaccstev said...

I wonder when will Zhang direct another film like "Hero" again. Anyway, have you watched "A Simple Noodle Story", buddy? I'm curious with your review on that one.

Nebular said...

Jaccsy, sadly, probably never. :( You know how much I love "Hero" and "HOFD", so I hope more than anybody that he;ll decide to direct another Hero-like movie. "A Simple Noodle Story" leaked online a year ago, but without English subs :( So I've waited for them almost a year, and they finally showed last week. So, I'm gonna see it very, very soon. Can't wait, though, as you know, I'm not a big fan of the Coens :) However, "Blood Simple" is probably their best film.

Matty V. said...

Zhang Yimou...need I say more! Great, crisp review Neb! Yet another film I must see.

Nebular said...

Matt, nope, he's exceptional! :) Thanks, buddy, and yes, you should give it a shot as soon as you can.