Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jasmine Women 茉莉花开

 Released Year: 2004
Directed by 侯咏 Hou Yong

Casted by:
章子怡 as 茉 Mo 莉 Li 花 Hua
陈冲 Joan Chen as 妈妈 Mother 茉 Mo
姜文 Jiang Wen as 孟先生 Mr Meng
陆毅 LuWee as 鄒傑 Jie
刘烨 Liu Yie as 小杜 Du
The film is divided into three chapters: "grandmother, mother, and daughter"; respectively the story of Mo, Li and Hua.

Mo's Story (1930s)
18 year old Mo lives with her mother who owns a small photo shop in Shanghai. She longs to become a movie star, a dream her mother does not understand. One day, Mo meets Mr. Meng, the boss of a movie studio. She then leaves her mother to fulfil her film career dream. She enters a relationship with Mr. Meng who is married and later becomes pregnant. She refuses to have an abortion and when the Second Sino-Japanese War begins, Meng leaves Shanghai and abandons Mo. The movie studio is shut down and Mo returns home. She gives birth to Li and blames her child for everything she has lost. Her mother's boyfriend (this is never explicitly stated but implied) also tries to seduce her, using the guise of a free hair appointment. Her mother finds out, and commits suicide not long after.

Li's Story (1950s)
Li had grown up with her mother Mo in misery. Mo still remembers her dream of being a movie star. Li marries Zou Jie who was a member of her high school's chapter of the Communist Youth League of China. After marriage, they move into Jie's home but unused to their lifestyle and unable to bear a child of her own, they move back to stay with Mo. Li eventually adopts a baby girl named Hua. Li later becomes mentally unstable. Li's situation gets steadily worse and she even accuses Zou for violating Hua, her adopted daughter. Li’s family collapses and her husband Zou commits suicide by throwing himself at an oncoming train. Li leaves home; her fate is unknown, and Hua is left to live with Mo.

Hua’s Story (1980s)
Li disappeared when Hua was still very young and she grew up with her grandmother Mo. Mo finds comfort in taking care of her granddaughter. When Hua grew up she married a college graduate, Du. After marriage, Du went for further studies overseas in Japan and after that, decided to leave Hua. Unfortunately, Hua was already carrying Du’s child. Mo strongly encouraged her to abort the baby because of her experiences with having a child and being unprepared for it, but Hua decided against it. Hua decided to check into a family planning clinic/hospital to have an abortion in any case, but before she could arrive home, Mo died. Years later, Du returns to Hua to 'finalise things', but it seems Hua had moved on with her life. Closing scenes show her moving into a new home with her daughter.
 L² Scored: 7.5/10

L² Comment
The storyline of 3 generations are nothing that fancy nowadays as many of the movies have used this idea before. The extraordinaire of this movie should be the best acting of Zhang Ziyi and Joan Chen. I love the story of the second generation the most... how about u?

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