Also known as: Year: 2013 Country: China Directed by: Peter Chan Ho-sun Duration: 1 hr, 47 min Language: Mandarin Subtitles: Chinese (hardsubbed)
Cast: Huang Xiaoming Deng Chao Tong Dawei Du Juan Wang Zhen
Plot: Flitting back and forth between drama and comedy, the film introduces Meng Xiaojun (Deng Chao), Cheng Dongqing (Huang Xiaoming) and Wang Yang (Tong Dawei) in 1983, in the midst of applying for US student visas, where they hope to make their fortunes. When only Meng is successful, Cheng and Wang remain in Beijing as teachers, while Meng gets a job at Columbia University. However, as the years tick by, various professional and romantic failures see the three reunited back in China a decade later.
By this time, Cheng has been dismissed from his university teaching gig and, together with Wang, has set up a hugely successful English language academy, New Dream, in an abandoned factory. Meng comes on board and New Dream goes from strength to strength, helping thousands of Chinese students successfully pass the entrance exams into American universities. That is until the examination board accuses New Dream of stealing its curriculum and giving their students an unfair advantage in their exams.
Technical info about video file:
GENERAL Format: Matroska File size: 1.64GB Duration: 1 hr, 47 min Bitrate: 22187kb/s Subtitles: Chinese (hardsubbed) Source: DVDSCR
VIDEO Format: AVI Codec: XviD Bitrate: 1995kb/s Display aspect ratio: 16:9 Frame rate: 29.970 Resolution: 720x314
PROS All three leads give great performances Assured pacing, good storytelling, likable characters and a fun examination through friendship and nostalgia come through The comedy and the drama mix quite well, due to the actor's performances
CONS The spoken English is pretty bad Tries to accomplish too much, ends up a mixed bag (about China, greed, politics etc.) The ending is unbelievable Western viewers (particularly Americans) could end up offended
SCORE: 7/10 (When it sticks with the friendship and nostalgia, the film does really well, but on other themes, not so much. A nice and refreshing, but definitely flawed change of pace from director Peter Chan.)