The Road Home
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Starring: Zhang Ziyi, Sun Honglei, Zheng Hao, Zhao Yuelin


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I went to see this movie because of Zhang Ziyi, who is also a reason to see "Rush Hour 2." I didn't know what it was about - all I knew was Zhang and subtitles.

What I got was a surprisingly simple and effective story about a powerful devotion to true love... or as it would be called today, a disturbing obsession with a relative stranger. Zhang is a girl living in a small Chinese town decades ago who becomes fascinated with the new schoolteacher that swings by from the big city. Having been courted by people she has no interest in, finding this guy seems to be a godsend for her, as she goes to great lengths just to listen to his voice, to frantic heights to get him to notice her, and to seriously dedicated ends to win his heart.

Director Zhang Yimou seemed to be as in love with Zhang Ziyi as everyone else who watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon should be, because it's chock full of long, slow, lingering close-up shots of Ziyi gazing lovingly into the distance, or in the general direction of her man. I'm not complaining, because she's a purty gal, but it sometimes felt like he was just trying to make the film longer or maybe give himself some, if you'll pardon the expression, "spank material."

It's a nice film overall, though, bringing the message that not every seemingly-absurd tradition is something to scoff at, because there's a reason for it in most cases, and that reason can mean a hell of a lot to some people. It's not a terribly exciting or involving film, but it's interesting, quiet and provides a bit more illustration as to why people should try to respect their elders. Unless they turn out to be real jackasses.

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