China-Underground Movie Database > Movies > Cao Baoping > The Equation of Love and Death

The Equation of Love and Death

Share
Poster for the movie "The Equation of Love and Death"

The Equation of Love and Death (2008)

96 min - Drama - 18 September 2008
Your rating:
Not rated yet!

When a mysterious death occurs, the lives of five unexpected strangers are suddenly intertwined together. A drug trafficking crime is unveiled, and through the twist and turns of the investigation, their stories unravel, and a bizarre connection is gradually discovered between them.

Director:  Cao Baoping
Writers:  Cao Baoping

Photos

Storyline

When a mysterious death occurs, the lives of five unexpected strangers are suddenly intertwined together. A drug trafficking crime is unveiled, and through the twist and turns of the investigation, their stories unravel, and a bizarre connection is gradually discovered between them.


Collections: Cao Baoping

Tagline: Neurotic cab driver LI Mi has been searching high and low for her fiance who disappeared four years ago, but continues to send her letters.

Genres: Drama

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   China
Language:  普通话
Release Date:  18 September 2008

Box Office

Company Credits

Production Companies: 

Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 36 min

When a mysterious death occurs, the lives of five unexpected strangers are suddenly intertwined together.

###

The Equation of Love and Death movie trailer

Review

This black tragic-comedy cum romance is a refreshingly edgy offering from China’s still-developing commercial film sector. Anchored by a brilliant performance by major star Zhou Xun (last seen here in Li Shaohong’s Baober In Love), director Cao Baoping’s second film The Equation Of Love And Death doesn’t let up for a moment. Its furious energy and quietly menacing undertone of barely suppressed violence is reminiscent of Cao’s first film Trouble Makers, also screening here this year. But both films salt their dark energy with a layer of blackly absurd humour. What’s fascinating to observe is how Cao balances these elements, the humour giving the darkness a special edge, and the violence lending the humour a rare and exciting nervous energy.

Zhou plays Li Mi, a chain-smoking cabbie in Kunming, in southwest China’s Yunnan province. She is obsessed with her ex-boyfriend Fang Wen. Although he disappeared several years ago, he continues to write her a series of love letters. She obsessively recites the contents of these letters to her customers while showing them pictures of Fang, hoping that one day someone will help her find him. Among her customers are a bumbling couple of small town would-be crooks, scarily nasty Huogui (Wang Yanhui, from Trouble Makers) and sweet, out-of-his-depth Shuitian (Wang Baoqiang, from FEFF 2005s A World Without Thieves). The two crooks, hapless drug couriers way out of their depth, miss their underworld contact and, without means to deliver their goods, try kidnapping Li Mi, with results both disturbingly violent and comically unexpected.

Meanwhile, intensely wired Ma Bing (Deng Chao, from Feng Xiaogang’s The Assembly, shown at FEFF 2008) and his creepily cool girlfriend Feifei (Wang Ning, from FEFF 2008’s The Other Half), driving along a Kunming expressway, are rudely started when a body of a long-haired poet dude falls from the sky (actually from a highway overpass) onto their car. Was this the man the two crooks were hustling to meet? When Li Mi is called to a police station to clear up the aftermath of her kidnapping, she unexpectedly catches sight of Ma Bing, there to explain the car incident. He looks like the spitting image of her boyfriend, but he insists he’s never met her. From here, the films begins to intensify its weave of fascinatingly tangled mysteries.

The Equation Of Love And Death swerves from physical comedy to bursts of violent fury, the plot forms, and reforms before our eyes, laying out puzzles of identity and chronology that take satisfyingly unpredictable turns.
Cao Baoping is an expert at orchestrating frenzy, and here surrounds his star Zhou Xun with a strong secondary cast of fine character actors. But the movie is hers. She plays wonderfully against type: her sassy foul-mouthed working-class persona is a far cry from her usual romantic heroines. Zhou makes Li Mi’s volatile obsessive romantic the centerpiece of the film, and further stakes her claim to being the best film actress in China today.

Shelly Kraicer
###

Plot

A drug trafficking crime is unveiled, and through the twist and turns of the investigation, their stories unravel, and a bizarre connection is gradually discovered between them.

The Equation of Love and Death (李米的猜想; lǐ mǐ de cāi xiǎng; literally: “Li Mi’s Supposition”) is a 2008 Chinese dramatic film written and directed by Cao Baoping and starring Zhou Xun. The film is a Chinese (Huayi Brothers) and Hong Kong (Sundream Motion Pictures) co-production. It is Cao’s second solo feature after 2006’s Trouble Makers.

The Equation of Love and Death premiered in China on September 18, 2008 in Shanghai and had its North American premiere at the 2008 Vancouver International Film Festival where it was part of the Dragons and Tigers side competition.

The Equation of Love and Death tells the story of Li Mi (played by Zhou Xun), a Kunming cab driver who longs for the day she can be reunited with her missing boyfriend. After a case of mistaken identity, a kidnapping, and a threat of extortion, Li Mi’s dream may be on the cusp of becoming a reality. [wikipedia]