ZHOU YU'S TRAIN

Perplexing Plotlines

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: July 16, 2004

Starring: Gong Li, Honglei Sun and Tony Leung Ka Fai

Genre: Drama

Audience: Adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 97 minutes

Address Comments To:

Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom
Co-Presidents
Sony Pictures Classics
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com

Content:

(Ro, Co, V, S, N, A, D, M) Romantic worldview and Communist regime seems to control library, teachers, schools, and man’s life; no foul language; bus falls off cliff and crashes and woman deliberately throws vase to the ground and it shatters; implied fornication with couples in bed and passionate kissing in a couple scenes include woman kisses man’s bare chest; upper male nudity; alcohol; smoking; and, man does not tell girlfriend when he moves to another city far away.

GENRE: Drama

Summary:

ZHOU YU’S TRAIN is a romantic Chinese drama about a young woman who turns to another lover w hen her one lover, an indecisive poet, suddenly leaves. This romantic story goes back and forth in time describing the heroine’s relationship with these two men, which sometimes may leave many viewers confused, especially at the end.

Review:

ZHOU YU’S TRAIN is a Chinese romantic drama with a confusing story.

The movie opens in the middle of the story with a young Chinese woman, Zhou Yu, taking a train to the countryside, apparently to visit her lover, a handsome poet named Chen Ching, who works for a rural state library. On the train, she meets a young veterinarian, Zhang, who is drawn to her. The movie then goes back and forth in time describing Zhou’s relationship with Chen and how she becomes friends with Zhang. In between these scenes, the movie shows brief shots of a woman with short hair, who may or may not be an older Zhou.

Chen tells Zhou that the library must close and he is scheduled to take a teaching job in Tibet. He fails to tell her, however, that he is leaving soon, so when he is suddenly gone, she finally succumbs to the veterinarian’s entreaties of love. Eventually, Zhang discovers that Zhou is still pining over Chen, so he lets her go. A final twist in the story may leave viewers more perplexed than enlightened.

Although he writes lovely poems about Zhou, Chen obviously is indecisive about where he wants their relationship to go. Zhou, however, reacts rather passively. Faced with such indecisive, passive characters, viewers probably will not find ZHOU YU’S TRAIN of much interest. The filmmakers have taken great care with the photography, however, and, although the movie is ultimately hard to unravel, they obviously went to great lengths to piece the time-shifting plot together. Thus, some may still find the romantic and poetic interludes captivating.

In Brief:

ZHOU YU’S TRAIN is a romantic Chinese drama with a confusing story. The movie opens in the middle of the story with a young Chinese woman, Zhou Yu, taking a train to the countryside, apparently to visit her lover, a handsome poet named Chen Ching, who works for a rural state library. On the train, she meets a young veterinarian, Zhang, who is drawn to her. The movie then goes back and forth in time describing Zhou’s relationship with Chen and how she becomes friends with Zhang. When Chen abruptly leaves f or a teaching job in Tibet, Zhou succumbs to Zhang’s manly charms. A couple final plot twists may leave viewers more perplexed than enlightened.

Although he writes lovely poems about Zhou, Chen obviously is indecisive about where he wants their relationship to go. Zhou, however, reacts rather passively. Faced with such indecisive, passive characters, viewers probably will not find ZHOU YU’S TRAIN of much interest. The filmmakers have taken great care with the photography, however, and, although the movie is ultimately hard to unravel, they obviously went to great lengths to piece the time-shifting plot together. Some may still find the romantic interludes captivating.