Zhou Yu's Train Reviews
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.
So lovely and musical.
but i was a bit confusing of the stroy.