I DO / 我願意 / Wǒ Yuànyì [2012 Chinese Film Review]

BY RUBY GEGE (AND HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY, THREECHINGUZ!! THIS BLOG IS OFFICIALLY ONE YEAR OLD!!! JUST WISH TO SAY THAT I LOVE MY FELLOW CHINGUZ AND CO-WRITERS, THE GORGEOUS PALAH CHINGU AND MAERTAI FATMA. AND DEAR READERS, WHOEVER YOU ARE, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR READING!!)

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Only now I realize how great a joy it is to watch a romantic comedy film once in a while. For a good few hours, I get to laugh, cry, be touched and melt over the romance looming around my laptop. Ouh, such happiness!! I stumbled upon I Do in Youtube and randomly downloaded it. I have to say, I was not disappointed! Not that I’ve ever doubted the gorgeous Li Bingbing’s talent. I should really start collecting more rom-com in my hard disk since they are great stress-relievers. Life sucks. So why not use some cinematic medicines to cure that sucky-diseases? 

U4350P28T3D3560970F326DT20120222074900Set in the metropolitan Beijing, I DO revolves around Tang Weiwei (Li Bingbing), a super successful and super gorgeous and super confident sales director in her early thirties. She has been single since she was 25 years old after her boyfriend left her and had a pregnant best friend who often helped her with blind dates, which never really seemed to work out anyway. Then, she encountered Yang Nianhua (Sun Honglei), a man a few years older than her seemingly of a middle-class background. Even though Nianhua was not as successful and ‘upper’-ish as Weiwei was, they got along well, starting a friendship and courtship at the same time. 

During the courtship, Weiwei’s ex-boyfriend, Wang Yang who left her seven years ago came back to her life, now as a rich jewellery company owner. Weiwei supported Wang Yang for many years while they were dating, through thick and thin, through his unemployments and failures in life. Thus, she was still very bitter and disappointed by his decision to disappear just like that from her life. Wang Yang made his intentions clear that he wanted to resume their romance and pursued Weiwei, asking for her forgiveness.

I find it most surprising that the love-triangle in this movie is so enjoyable to watch. Truthfully, I hate all the cliches one can predict in a romance film. Yet, the three main characters here played their roles with great confidence and ease that watching them navigate their love lives around each other is fascinating. Even though there were tensions here and there, they were never over-dramatic, giving the film a very ‘adult/mature/grown-up’ feel.

Weiwei, for once, is a great character and role model for women. Even though she is independent and successful, she is a realistic person. She wants a husband, a partner in life. Even though she’s comfortable being alone and is a bit sarcastic about the idea of love, she has yet to give up in searching for someone to live her life with. She wants a partner yet she is not too extreme about it. She might be a workaholic sales director but with her love life, she prefers to take it slow and easy.

It’s not important that he has money or not. He has no money, I can earn money. Why do I need too much money? I want a man. Do you understand what a MAN is?” – Tang Weiwei, defending Nianhua when the latter was criticized by Weiwei’s rich ex-boyfriend. (Oh my God, girllll…. I totally get you!!)

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Which made Yang Nianhua the perfect man for her!! Their relationship is my favourite aspect of the film. It is the kind of relationship I want (if ever I have a romantic partner. Oh God, pleaseeeeeeee!!!!!!!) Nianhua is a simple outgoing guy who likes Weiwei for who she is. Despite the lack of interest she showed for him in the beginning of their courtship, he was always there for her. They started of as friends and confidante and slowly, he displayed great reliability and kindness with her. Who does not fall for that?!!! He is a relaxed kind of guy who brings her dinner, has a sense of humour and is very supportive. If that is not perfection, I don’t know what is.

It is also very interesting to see the contrasting dynamics Weiwei shared with her ex-boyfriend and her new romantic partner. She had had an intense long history with Wang Yang and they knew everything about each other. Yet her heart had been crushed by him leaving her without any explaination years ago. When he tried to woo her again, Weiwei was angry at him at first. Only later that she finally showed signs on why she rejected him – she no longer yearned for him. She was disinterested. She wanted nothing more from him. Their time had passed. 

With Nianhua, Weiwei felt easy. As if he had been a very familiar presence in her life. He makes her happy, supports her and sits down to talk to her. He listens to her and most importantly, is a friend to her. I think that is how Weiwei fell for Nianhua despite the presence of the ex-boyfriend (whom she truly loved years ago). 

I Do 我愿意  (2012)  [full length movie-english subtitles] Chinese Movie.mp4.opdownload_002254907

“If you think that I cheated on you, my mistake was that I hid my fortune. How about you? You hide your heart. Your heart is like a thick suit of armor. Needle cannot go in. Water cannot splash in. Reject everything that comes into your heart.” – Nianhua, persuading Weiwei to forgive him once she finds out that he’s actually a filthy rich businessman beneath his laid-back appearance. 

The film had a happy ending, with Nianhua proposing to Weiwei. Wang Yang finally let Weiwei go, wishing her all the happiness in the world. I have to say, though, that scene is the most touching scene in the film. 

“When something is lost, maybe it never comes back. But it makes my heart aching forever.” – Wang Tan, finally accepting that his relationship with Weiwei is over. 

I am beginning to enjoy a lot of modern films from Mainland China after being so absorbed with the films from the 90s and 80s which dealt with more serious socially-conscious elements. Modern Chinese films may seem more glossy and pretty but they also deal with problems I can and will relate to. The issue of successful career-women seems to be on the rise. It cannot be denied that even though marriage is no longer a priority for women, it does not mean that they DON’T want to get married. It’s just that they don’t want to get married to the wrong person. With success and independence, they don’t cling to the presence of men in their lives. People should start expecting to marry a person/individual instead of a wife to manage the household and be the mother of their children.  

When the search of love fails, people marry for practicality. To have a companion. To have children. To start a family. 

“When I was your age, I was afraid that men cheated on me. But now at my age, I am most afraid that I am not useful to men. Life has several stages. After I turn 50, do I still need a man? If I have a son, it’s enough.” – Weiwei’s collegue in her 40s on marriage and partnership.

One thing I kind of dislike about the film is that it has an ‘upper-class’ feel to it. Most characters are filthy rich, successful, have great jobs with impeccable wardrobes and expensive cars. But maybe that is the way it is in the city of Beijing now. I read online that there is a surge of ‘new money’ in the city for the past few years. People are getting richer, the young ones are getting more ambitious. Life is busier, more hectic and unfortunately, more materialistic. It applies to every metropolitan city in the world, including Kuala Lumpur itself. 

On the whole, I DO is an enjoyable romantic-comedy film. The acting is great (like… duhhh, look at the cast. All critically-acclaimed actors, people!) It displays romance in an appropriate dosage and proves that love does not have to be intense and passionate all the time. Love can be kind, understanding, supportive, and reliable. 

I Do 我愿意  (2012)  [full length movie-english subtitles] Chinese Movie.mp4.opdownload_004501057

Awww… these damn feels…

P/S – Ruby Gege wants to return to school so badly. She has been reading a lot in preparation for her PhD proposal. Will she get what she has been hoping for? Will she not? Will she fail? Will she succeed? Can she do what she enjoys in the future? Soon? Pleassseeee? Ruby Gege wishes she can read all day, every day. 

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FINDING MR. RIGHT/ 北京遇上西雅图/Běijīng yù shàng xiyǎtú) – 2013 Chinese Film

BY RUBY GEGE

Rating: 4 Durians out of 5

050E000051A5B80B6758397DFF04E487I came across this film whilst browsing for top ten Chinese films of 2013. I wanted to learn the mainland’s Mandarin pronounciation, so I chose what seemed to be the least-serious kind of films (side note: the Mandarin language is so difficult… TT). I have had my share of Chinese movies but they all tend to be super political, serious, deep and not really for the romantic hearted (ie The Soong Sisters, City of Life and Death). But to my surprise, this film turns out to be more meaningful than what I predicted (looking at the shallow cheesy title, really, I did not have much expectations).

北京遇上西雅图11The film tells the story of the struggles of a pregnant twenty six years old mistress of a rich mainland Chinese tycoon. Due to her pregnancy, her boyfriend sent her to the USA for her to give birth. Apparently, there’s this weird rule thing in China where pregnancy out of wedlock cannot be registered or something thus the mothers cannot get proper health care? I’m not sure. But the plot indicates as such.

Our heroine is the mistress, Wen Jia Jia a fabulous super spoilt and super bratty young woman with a mouth everyone should slap. Literally. She is obnoxious and thinks everyone should please her because her boyfriend supplies her with an unlimited amount of cash. Her life, though wealthy, was lonely in the States. She had nobody – no friends, no family – and she had to stay in a maternal care home with three women she never met.

BUT O M G CAN I JUST SPAZZ AND GO CRAZY OVER HOW GORGEOUS TANG WEI IS IN THIS FILM? WHY THE FUCK IS SHE SO PRETTY?!!

U369P1T1D778591F25DT20130322112614 20130309014829209 20130320075810844Seriously, I think this is the first time I saw someone glows so beautifully on screen!

Jia Jia relied completely on the money provided by her boyfriend. Being such an obnoxious woman, she did not get along well with the other residents of the maternal care house until much later. Always isolated in her loneliness due to her materialistic self, she found solace in the unlikely friendship with a Chinese expatriate, Frank, a seemingly dull former doctor with no personality. Frank is a nice polite middle aged man, which is absolutely the kind that I like! Arghhhh, his heart is so big I can cry!!

m m m km kWhat kind of guy is Frank? Well, he is the kind of guy who will never say no to you. He never raises his voice and speak in a soft tone ALL THE TIME (unless you mess with his daughter, whom he loves like mad). Even if you are a mere acquaintance, he will help and take care of you as if you are the most important person in his life. When Jia Jia fell ill after giving birth, he cared for her (even though they were ONLY friends at that time) so well to the point that the nurses said they had never seen such a loving husband before.

Why is he so sweet? *cries again*

 The main point of this story is, of course, the issue of materialism vs happiness. Jia Jia had the money most can only dream of. As a well-provided-for mistress, she could afford anything she wanted. She could order people to do things for her by just paying them. However, we can see how bad her personality was due to her powerful position.

We can see a glimpse of her humanity in a scene where a drunken Jia Jia confessed to Frank that no matter what people say, she is a good mother because unlike other mistresses who aborted their babies once they got pregnant, she chose to stick with the pregnancy out of love for her son. Unlike others, she was willing to take the risk. As a mistress, Jia Jia was always second to her boyfriend’s wife.

I’m not sure what made Jia Jia a mistress in the first place. She used to be a food editor, an independent career woman. Was it love or money that attracted her to a life of dependency, I’m not sure. But she seemed to enjoy the materialistic super load super shallow life quite nicely.

urlkmkmkIn the film, the love story between Frank and Jia Jia was presented quite subtly. Jia Jia, who was from Beijing, was trapped in a life that seemed to revolve around money. Maybe that’s the only way she was taught to live. She thought nobody doesn’t love money. Upon reaching Seattle, she met Frank, a loving father whose mindset was very simple. He gave her an unconditional friendship, keeping her company and taking care of her even when she was broke. I think that was what pulled Jia Jia towards Frank – he reminded her of the innocence of a human soul. It was a beautiful realization – money does not mean anything.

Even after returning to her boyfriend and her super rich life, Jia Jia was not the same anymore. Materialism no longer made her happy. She missed the simple happier ways Frank showed to him. She left the rich boyfriend and established a life of her own with her newborn son, reuniting with Frank in USA two years later. Maybe she waited to be financially independent first before going to Frank. She knew the cons of being financially dependent.

The film ended quite happily, leaving a sweet satisfied taste. 🙂 Damn it, I’m glad I found this film! Dear God, please give me a Frank in my life!!!!!

*I really recommend the director’s previous work, Ocean Heaven starring Jet Li. It will definitely bring tears to your eyes and make you cry like a baby.*