A Friday Film: Us and Them (2018)
Us and Them, dir. Rene Liu
Released 28th April 2018, Us and Them (Hoòulái de Women) is the story of two stranger who meet on a train headed home for Chinese New Year. They form a bond that evolves over the years, and, after a separation, share an afternoon reflecting on the love they wished for the other.
The film brought in revenue of 209 million USD, and was written and directed by Rene Liu with additional screenwriters Shing-Ming Ho, Yuan Yuan, An Wei and Pan Yu.
The literally translation of the title: "Who We Will Be" beautifully parallels the romantic drama as it exploores the relationship between a man and a woman desperate for fulfillment, wealth and stability as they face economic, social, familial and romantic adversities. The film transitions effortlessly between settings: rural hometown, Beijing, the small cramped living spaces, the wide, icy open of winterscapes. It also shows the progression of time seamlessly; the narrative never feels as though time were cut short or skipped.
Fact: the success of the film made Liu the first female Chinese filmmaker to produce a movie earning over one billian yuan.
I highly recommend this film; it's tenderness in portraying insecurity, love and desire has made it a favourite of mine. Us and Them can be found on the UK Netflix.