Sudden Lover

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Poster for the movie "Sudden Lover"

Sudden Lover (2005)

88 min - Drama - 19 May 2005
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Romantic thrillers are a rare breed in the mainland Chinese film industry, perhaps because in a closely censored film industry without ratings (in which all films need to be suitable for children), it’s hard to get the balance right for this particular genre: sexy, noir-ish, dangerous, and commercially appealing. First time director Hao Ran takes on the challenge in Sudden Lover, adding some flavours from youth film and police procedural in the mix. The results remain compulsively watchable, even if the film can’t quite pull off its attempt to combine strait-laced tension, eroticism, and action, with a knowing, parodic take on these same elements.

Director:  Hao Ran

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Storyline

Romantic thrillers are a rare breed in the mainland Chinese film industry, perhaps because in a closely censored film industry without ratings (in which all films need to be suitable for children), it’s hard to get the balance right for this particular genre: sexy, noir-ish, dangerous, and commercially appealing. First time director Hao Ran takes on the challenge in Sudden Lover, adding some flavours from youth film and police procedural in the mix. The results remain compulsively watchable, even if the film can’t quite pull off its attempt to combine strait-laced tension, eroticism, and action, with a knowing, parodic take on these same elements.


Collections: Hao Ran

Genres: Drama

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   China
Language:  普通话
Release Date:  19 May 2005

Box Office

Company Credits

Production Companies: 

Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 28 min

Romantic thrillers are a rare breed in the mainland Chinese film industry, perhaps because in a closely censored film industry without ratings (in which all films need to be suitable for children), it’s hard to get the balance right for this particular genre: sexy, noir-ish, dangerous, and commercially appealing.

First time director Hao Ran takes on the challenge in Sudden Lover, adding some flavours from youth film and police procedural in the mix. The results remain compulsively watchable, even if the film can’t quite pull off its attempt to combine strait-laced tension, eroticism, and action, with a knowing, parodic take on these same elements.

Mainstream Chinese heartthrob Liu Ye stars as Xiao Ye, a young Beijing taxi driver whose life seems ridden with the most amazing coincidences. He attracts the youthfully amorous attentions of Luba (newcomer Shi Zhouliang), a frisky high school student whom his housemate Lao Mo (Loach Is Fish Too star Ni Dahong, almost unrecognizable here) brings home for a quick random tryst. As Luba pursues, seduces, then wins over the initially cool Xiao Ye, Lao Mo deals with his own romantic tribulations: his fiancee Sister Fen suddenly runs off with her former lover Tao, who has been released from prison on the eve of their wedding. These elements begin to intertwine in more and more baroque ways, as Tao’s frightening former partner-in-crime Li Xiaodong crosses paths with both Xiao Ye and Luba, drawing the taxi driver and student into a dangerous climax involving a suitcase full of money, punky roller skaters, police marksmen, and a bit of Hong Kong style action.
Along the way, director Hao manages to reflect a Beijing we don’t often get to see on screen: pulsating night lights, neon-streaked streets, all jangling contempo beats and jittery pop energy. Not quite Beijing-noir, but rather a tribute to Hong Kong’s film bleu ethos, with a romantic streak a mile wide.

Shelly Kraicer

 

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