Zhou Yu's Train - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Zhou Yu's Train Reviews

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½ November 10, 2013
Feeble Chinese movie about a woman named Zhou Yu (Li Gong) who falls in love with a teacher (Tony Leung Kar-Fai) because of his insignificant poems (at least I thought they were). They become obsessed with one another and chase each other with the use of trains (trains are huge in China as indicated in the 2009 documentary "Last Train Home" which I recommend over this). However, the teacher is in love with another woman. I seriously love trains and watch them all the time here in Canada (also across the border in the United States), but I really don't like inefficiency, and pretty much, that is what this movie is. It's not interesting, dramatic, significant, and actors just don't look like they care. The only compensating value is the scenery and I suppose the constant site of trains which are used inefficiently throughout, but this movie does very little to interest the viewer.
July 30, 2012
brilliant Film I loved it
September 15, 2011
lavish and slow moving this reminded me of the films of Wong Kar Wai as a women moves between 2 lovers, I would say the trains,buses and cable cars serve as a metaphor for sex (oh boy Frued), and distance between us and the characters in the movie, well done.
½ January 16, 2011
Let down by a fruitless story, Zhou Yu's Train is yet another sad example of style over substance.

Considering the brainpower required to keep up with the confusing narrative, there is minimal payoff here for the committed viewer. Zhou Yu's Train follows beautiful Zhou Yu (Gong Li) as she falls in love with a handsome poet (Tony Leung Ka Fai), however when she meets a charming stranger on her regular train journeys (Honglei Sun), her love is tested as she falls for two men at once. This may sound like your average love-triangle tale but Li also plays Xiu, a woman who falls for the poet through his words without ever meeting him. This opens the film to much speculation over the reason why Li plays both roles; perhaps it's because the story is told from Xiu's perspective and she imagines herself in Zhou Yu's place. However with just a haircut showing the difference between the two characters, it wasn't until the end of the movie that I realised it wasn't just the same character at a different point in time. This of course led to confusion and ultimately frustration, preventing me from fully committing to the story, which failed to hold my attention on several occasions.

Thankfully there are areas of the film which can be enjoyed. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Chinese actress Gong Li, regarding her as one of the most underrated actresses around. Her performance here is sadly not on a par with her best work, but is effective nonetheless, as she makes a plausible heroine with enough likeability to see most viewers through to the end of the film. Her natural acting talent is given plenty of room to fill in the gaps in the story, and suffices to an extent, but is not enough to completely overshadow the film's flaws.

Equally the aesthetics of the movie are undeniably strong, but again don't manage to make up for the shoddy story. The cinematography is particularly good, framing Li and her costars commendably. The score too is a highlight of the film, accentuating the drama with aplomb.

As such Zhou Yu's Train is a decent but inherently disappointing film that fails to stand up next to the high standard set by Chinese romantic dramas of the past.
½ August 30, 2010
China is the most advanced in digital filmmaking in the world today. Filmmakers like Zhangke Jia and Lou Ye already have presented aesthetic of digital images, and here is another effort to seek possibility of digital filmmaking from Zhou Sun, who is one of the prospective Chinese directors. I think, however, I have to say this experiment failed in the end - this story definitely should have been filmed on film, not digitally. The poetic and erotic subject of the film is killed by too-clear, two dimensional digital images. Scenaries of the city beside the river and Chinese countryside could have been more visionary and symbolic if they were filmed on film... Editing is confusing too, although I understand that the filmmaker was seeking for a certain style which can fit to images. Probably because of the misfit of digital images to the subject, performance by actors looks uneasy too.
April 29, 2010
Li Gong is a great actress
½ December 23, 2009
Una historia de amor bellisimamente fotografiada y bellisimamente actuada por Gong Li y Tony Leung, desarrollada a partir de recuerdos fragmentados, y que aborda el eterno dilema de la mujer: debe elegir al hombre al que siempre tiene que buscar? (el poeta) o mas bien debe quedarse con el hombre que siempre la busca? (el veterninario de cerdos).
½ March 21, 2009
An interesting film with strange ambiguities. Kind of a surprise from Sun Zhou, who directed the excellent but straightforward Breaking the Silence. Gong Li is amazing, as always.
½ March 8, 2009
Lovely story but confusing ending, i got lost
½ February 28, 2009
Beautifully filmed and intriguing. Time lines confused (you're never sure what the actual chronology is).
February 18, 2009
brilliant Film I loved it
½ February 4, 2009
confusing at the end, the score didn't suit the film, have a bit of WKW style that didn't work for this kind of story and settings...
½ January 31, 2009
I want to ride on Zhou Yu's Train again and again and again.
So lovely and musical.
½ January 23, 2009
beautiful movie but I must admit that I was a bit confused in the end? Anybody cares to expound this for me?? Pedro you must watch this and review it so I can get it ^_^
½ January 8, 2009
Poet's love is complicated...
½ January 6, 2009
I like Gong Li & Leung Ka Fai & Sun Hong Lei
but i was a bit confusing of the stroy.
½ January 6, 2009
because this movie, i fall in love with Sun Honglei !
January 3, 2009
Somewhat confusing, but beautiful to watch.
January 3, 2009
A beautifully shot film with two of the most prominent asians actors of the day that had a decent following on the festival circuit but didn't seem to catch on theatrically. Average film but I have seen the talent involved do much better work in films like 2046, and Curse of the Golden Flower.
October 28, 2008
Confusing at times but so beautifully filmed and wonderfully played by the actors, especially Gong Li. At the end, the metaphor of the lake appearing and disappearing in the fog was magnificent.
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