Liu Cheng will do anything for his son, 13-year-old violinist Xiaochun. They leave theirprovincial town and travel to Beijing to seek more opportunities for Xiaochun. Liu Cheng packshis entire fortune into his hat, and cheerfully puts up with all kinds of humiliation for the good ofhis son. Xiaochun’s encounter with the city include a flighty, gold-digging young woman in thesame apartment block, and the very different characters of his teachers. At the centre of the fi…m,however, remains the bond of father and son, and everything builds to the big emotionalclimax.
Music (obviously) plays a very big role in the film, and the score does sound very nice,though it could be a bit stronger in the 5.1 mix. The other aspects of the soundtrack are strong:the voices are clear and undistorted, and the sound effects have a very good surround presence.The city soundscapes are particularly well realized.
By and large, the picture is good. The blacks are deep, and the flesh tones are true. Therearen’t any distracting edge enhancement halos. The colours are interesting, ranging from therather chilly to some very warm interiors. The picture is a bit on the soft side, particularly in thecase of exterior long shots.
The only extra (besides English, French and Mandarin versions of the trailer) is an interviewwith director Chen Kaige. His talk is brief, but interesting, and very articulate. The menu’s mainpage is animated and scored, and the scoring continues on the secondary pages.
A fine film, unabashedly melodramatic, but doing that well. Very nice score.
Special Features List
- Director Interview
- Theatrical Trailer