Zhou Yu's Train

"OK"

Zhou Yu's Train Review


Zhou Yu's Train is a movie in motion. By the time it's over, you'll have seen a good deal of rural China, not to mention a corner of Tibet. As Zhou Yu (Gong Li) rides the rails back and forth between her two boyfriends, you'll feel her confusion and her wanderlust, but you'll feel boredom and a little motion sickness, too.

A young and beautiful woman who doesn't know what she wants out of life, Zhou Yu seems to think that as long as she keeps moving, she won't have to make any tough decisions. She uses the time off from her job painting ceramics to travel hundreds of miles twice a week to visit her boyfriend, Chen Qing (Tony Leung Ka Fai), a librarian who writes and recites florid love poetry.

Chen Qing is easy to love. He's unassuming, bookish (he actually lives in a library), and terribly romantic. But every time he pushes Zhou Yu for a commitment or tries to reel her in with yet another romantic poem, she runs for the train station and heads home.

It's on one of her train trips that she meets Zhang Qiang (Honglei Sun), a veterinarian who admires both Zhou Yu and her pottery. An earthy pragmatist, he's the opposite of the cerebral Chen Qing, and even though Zhou Yu tells him she already has a boyfriend, he persists and eventually wins her over... at least until she runs for the train again.

To bottom line it in bar room terms: Zhou Yu is a major-league tease, and she drives both men crazy with her flightiness. Chen Qing gets so frustrated that he eventually puts in for a transfer to Tibet and heads for the hills. Moments later, Zhou Yu realizes that he is the love of her life and that she may never see him again.

Director Zhou Sun plays around with all sorts of cinematic tricks as if he's trying to impress his film school professor. He chops up the story and tells it slightly out of sequence; he introduces a second female character also played by Gong Li for no particular reason and has her serve as an almost reliable narrator; and he includes far too many shots of green trains racing down the tracks and over bridges hoping to symbolize something that is never really made clear.

The goal seems to be to build up a swooningly romantic tale, something you don't see coming out of China too often, but even when Zhou Yu and Chen Qing roll around on the uncomfortable looking bamboo mat he uses for a bed, lots of quick cuts keep everything in the PG-13 arena. Before you know it, Zhou Yu is dashing out the door to catch another train.

See Zhou Yu's Train for the interesting Chinese scenery, or see it to feast your eyes on the always beautiful Gong Li, but don't see it for the drama. You've heard of the romance of the rails? Well, not these rails.

Aka Zhou Yu de huo che.

Come on ride the train and choo-choo ride it.



Facts and Figures

Production compaines: China Film Co-Production Corporation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Sun Hong-Lei as Zhang Qiang, as Zhou Yu / Xiu, as Chen Qing

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.