Friday, July 14, 2017

Falling Flowers (2013) - Foreign Film Friday


Number Rolled: 13
Movie Name/Year: Falling Flowers (2013)
Tagline: None
Genre: Drama
Length: 119 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Harbin Provincial Party Committee Propaganda Department, Heilongjiang Broadcast and Television Station, Heilongjiang People's Radio, Heilongjiang Provincial Party Committee Propaganda Department, Zhejiang Talent Television & Film Company
Producer: Sanping Han, Hongliang Wu
Director: Jianqi Huo
Writer: Xiaowei Su, Fuhai Yi
Actors: Jia Song, Jue Huang, Renjun Wang, Jaco Bo Zhang, Chao Wu, Zian Mi, Yiling Li, Fengxu Li, Weimin Sun, Tong Zhang
Stunt Doubles: None

Blurb from Netflix: Pregnant, abandoned and destitute, gifted writer Xiao Hong embarks on a daring literary career in the face of patriarchy, privation and war.


Selina’s Point of View:
It takes a lot to get me to like a film like this.

Falling Flowers was a heavy drama, which is not my preferred genre by a long shot. Never-the-less, I absolutely adored this film.

There was a bitter cold reality to the plot and story. Nothing about Falling Flowers is pretty or sugar-coated. It doesn’t lie to the audience.

According to research, this film is based on a true story and – for once – I absolutely believe it. Normally I give that fact with a hefty warning that it was likely ‘loosely’ based off truth, but I’d believe this film stayed as close to the real story as possible.

Keep in mind that I don’t know the real story, so that’s just a guess.

The point is that there’s a certain naivety that most true story films show that make it feel as though the plot were impossible. Life isn’t always filled with hope; as depressing as that sounds.


Watching this film was heartbreaking, but I couldn’t look away for even a minute. I was enthralled by Xiao Hong’s story, something I credit actress Jia Song (Cold Steel, The Final Master, Legend of the Daming Palace) with. She played her part flawlessly and made me care in a situation I don’t normally find reason to.

Writers Xiaowei Su and Fuhai Yi are amazing screenwriters. In fact, a few of my new favorite quotes came from this script. That reality is made even more epic by the fact that this movie is the only one listed in either writer’s IMDb credits.

There’s a lot of love I have for Falling Flowers, but I acknowledge that it likely isn’t for everyone. The anticipation and worry imparted on the audience is subtle and constant. It is in no way a ‘feel good’ film. It’s not for someone just home from work and looking to ignore the fact that they had to deal with idiots all day. This film is for a day off when you are looking to reflect upon life, love, and death.

For me, this film hit all the right notes. I’d both recommend it and watch it again.


Cat’s Point of View:
Oh goodness, where do I begin?

This had to have been one of the most frustrating things I’ve watched in a while. Do note that I didn’t say horrible. It wasn’t bad – just aggravating.

Why? Partially, it was the movie’s pacing. I felt every second of the full two hours of this film. Things felt so drawn out that at some points it was almost excruciating to remain seated and watching. My need to fidget was skyrocketing but I was trapped because of the need to read the subtitles.

This was not a movie where I forgot that I was reading because of engrossing story. Unfortunately, the bleakness that overshadowed the main character’s world seemed to swallow the whole thing. I felt numb when I know other emotions were warranted. Perhaps it was just overload. This movie was just about as dramatic as drama can get. It was almost like a soap-opera at times.


This reminds me of a time I went to the opera to watch a production of Carmen. It was a bit of a condensed version, which didn’t do the story any favors. It turned a tragic and sweeping epic into something almost comical. While this film didn’t suffer for being condensed into a faster timeline, it’s a similar feeling where I knew the appropriate reaction I should be having and the dissonance with my actual reactions.

I do want to give credit where credit is due, though, and leave you with something positive. I feel the cast did a good job with their roles, and the visuals throughout were well thought out and stunning. The story was working with some really deep material and they tried their best to paint a landscape of emotion and intellect for the characters.

I wouldn’t watch this movie again. I’ve just had my fill of it.


Languages
Speech Available: Chinese
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.9/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2.5/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer:

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