‘The Promised Land’ (‘Hui Dao Bei Ai De Mei Yi Tian’): TIFF Review

Scaling things down after several silken chronological Easterns and a handful of femme-driven duration pieces, maestro Chinese executive He Ping (Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker, Warriors of Heaven and Earth) offers adult a contemporary two-hander about love, yearning and his country’s ever-evolving girl in a low-key regretful dramedy, The Promised Land (Hui Dao Bei Ai De Mei Yi Tian).

Set between smog-filled Beijing and a lifelike farming town, this story of dual immature lovers held between their aspirations for a improved life in a large city, and their enterprise to live a some-more common existence in a countryside, is many too minimal in terms of tract and dramatization, relying on a glamour of stars Wang Jiajia and Zhang Yi (Mountains May Depart) to do many of a legwork. Their several meet-cutes and still conversations assistance expostulate what’s differently a teenager impression investigate that should continue a fest debate after a initial stop in Toronto’s Platform competition, with melodramatic possibilities in Asia.

Jumping around in both time and location, a story follows 20-something ballet dancer, Ling Ai (Wang), who settles behind into her willing hometown, reconnecting with her widowed father (Wang Zhiwen) and opening adult a dance studio for locals. But her homecoming is injured by memories of her new life in Beijing, where she common a swarming prosaic with several roommates, one of whom – a hockey coach, He Jiang (Zhang) – she solemnly though certainly fell in adore with, building a serene, comforting attribute in a undiluted capital that’s not always welcoming to youngsters.

There’s not many of a account arc here, nonetheless a tip behind because Ai is now vital alone creates a favoured kind of poser – and one that’s solved intensely late in a game. The rest of a film flashbacks to a dual budding lovebirds as they get to know any other in their common vital quarters, ensuing in several rom-com character sequences (and maybe a curtsy to Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night) where they promulgate opposite a skinny wall separating their adjacent rooms.

Throughout those scenes, He seems to be observant that, in such a large city like Beijing, a usually approach to find genuine condolence is in a arms of another, while out in a nation it’s probable for Ai to grasp assent by herself – even if such assent is underscored by a certain melancholy. Yet though a clever book to figure a drama, one has to review between a lines to conclude a filmmaker’s strident observations, that are mostly relayed by gestures and discourse makeshift by a dual stars.

Both actors are easy to watch in roles some-more earthy than psychological, with Wang stretching, dancing, and yoga-ing her time divided in her little Beijing bedroom, while Zhang restlessly waits for her subsequent door. Wang (He’s Wheat) is also good as a father who wants a best for his daughter, though has a tough time observant it.

Tech credits are highlighted by cinematographer Shao Dan’s colorful lensing, that contrasts a bustling grays of a large city with a sensuous greens of a countryside, withdrawal us to consternation that of those dual is indeed a betrothed land of a title.

Production companies: Classics Media Co. Ltd/Beijing Junfei Century Culture Media Co. Ltd
Cast: Wang Jiajia, Zhang Yi, Wang Zhiwen
Director, screenwriter: He Ping
Producers: He Ping, Zhao Hongliang
Executive producer: Barbara Robinso
Director of photography: Shao Dan
Production designer: Gao Yiguang
Editors: He Ping, Huang Bojun
Sales agent: Turbo Films

No rating, 102 minutes