So Close to Paradise (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

So Close to Paradise (1999)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

So Close to Paradise Photos

Movie Info

So Close to Paradise was filmed by director Wang Xiaoshuai in 1994, but was not publicly shown until 1998; the film reportedly went through re-editing and re-shooting after running into interference from government authorities before finally being approved for release. The film concerns two friends living in Wuhan, a major point of commerce along the Yangtze River. Dongzi (Shi Yu) works as a "pole carrier," an errand boy who lugs heavy loads from one place to another; he's convinced one gets ahead in life through hard work and determination. Gao Ping (Guo Tao), on the other hand, avoids physical labor and is trying to scam his way through life. One night, the two visit a shabby nightclub where they meet a sultry singer named Ruan Hong (Wang Tong). Gao recognizes Ruan as the girlfriend of a gangster who owes him money; he approaches her to try to find the mobster's whereabouts, but an attraction develops and soon Gao and Ruan are lovers. However, Dongzi also feels drawn to her, and a bitter triangle begins to form while Gao finds himself more at odds with Ruan's former lover. So Close to Paradise received its first screening outside China at the 1998 Mainland-Hong Kong-Taiwan Film Festival where it went by the title Vietnam Girl. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Critic Reviews for So Close to Paradise

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

A damsel-in-distress noirish melodrama that failed to resonate with me.

Full Review… | March 22, 2002
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for So Close to Paradise


The 4th feature by Xiaoshuai Wang, one of the 6th Generation Chinese filmmakers. Like films by Ye Lou and Zhangke Jia, Wang successfully creates a special atmosphere in the film - especially the color of the images that almost can be distinguished into film noir is worth to check out. Wang, however, seems to lack originality being bound between Ye Lou, who is good at creating a story, and Zhangke Jia, who intends to exclude fiction. Indeed, the story of this film is too simple and really weak, and images are not as vivid as ones of Jia. If you compare this to films of Jia and Ye, you surely feel unsatisfied somehow.

Naoya Kugimiya
Naoya Kugimiya

Slow, brooding crime drama has wonderful atmosphere and terrific performances but the plot is rather bland. However, it appears that director's Wang's intention was never to tell a story but to construct a mood, which he does so admirably. Interesting, but nothing truly striking.

David Schwenker
David Schwenker

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