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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Movies
Youth
    2017-December-22  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Starring: Miao Miao, Huang Xuan, Zhong Chuxi, Li Xiaofeng, Yang Caiyu, Sui Yuan, Zhao Lixin, Wang Tiancheng Director: Feng Xiaogang

SET in a military art troupe in 1970s China, “Youth” is a giddily ambitious mixture of backstage musical, bittersweet love story, coming of age drama, political commentary and blood-drenched war movie.

Narrated by dancer Xiao Suizi (Zhong Chuxi), it begins on the day that He Xiaoping (Miao Miao) joins the troupe from Beijing. The newcomer’s father has been sent for re-education, and she is determined to excel and erase the shame attached to her family name. Wide-eyed and eager to please, she is astonished that she will be able to shower every day and at no cost. The other girls mock her naivety and bully her. Only the eternally kind and considerate Liu Feng (Huang Xuan) is sensitive to her situation.

There is a terrific energy and pace to “Youth,” as the young performers rehearse and dedicate themselves to perfecting the patriotic routines that boost the morale and extol the virtues of the country. The restless camerawork of Pan Luo darts into every corner of the compound, hustling the viewer into the heart of a story peppered with rivalries, broken hearts and private anguish.

Chairman Mao Zedong’s death in 1976 is the catalyst for the most interesting scenes of the film, as we gain a sense of old certainties crumbling away. Once obedient students start to answer back, respect for authority diminishes, forbidden items become available and materialism gains a foothold. There is a suggestion that, for all the hardships and restrictions they endured, the close-knit troupe may have experienced the best years of their lives during the nightmare of the Cultural Revolution.

“Youth” journeys forward through a depiction of the Sino-Vietnamese war in 1979 filled with bloodshed and carnage, offering further updates on the fates of key characters well into the 21st century. In many respects, the kindest souls suffer the harshest fates. Liu is a saintly figure whose life is marked by selfless sacrifice, devoted service and his constant focus on the needs of others. He Xiaoping suffers endlessly from the cruelty of others.

Strong performances throughout maintain our emotional involvement with Huang, making Liu’s ceaseless virtue both admirable and affecting, whilst Miao Miao’s innocent He has the steely determination of a woman able to survive all the injustices heaped on her.

Galloping across the decades, the film becomes increasingly sketchy and superficial. There is so much detail and substance in the 1970s stretch of this epic that the twists of fate and rueful reflections of later years inevitably feel less authentic and closer to a soap opera.

“Youth” does have its moving moments but it also plucks at those heartstrings with shameless vigor and the syrupy, soaring musical score is the biggest culprit in the process.

The movie is now being screened in Shenzhen.

(SD-Agencies)

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