By Liz Lopez
There is no doubt in my mind the film, Coming Home, written by Zou Jingzhi and directed by Zhang Yimou, will be a film that leaves my memory very soon. Based on the novel The Criminal Lu Yanshi by Yan Geling, the film is set during the Cultural Revolution and at the very core, I view this as a story about family with a very deep love story between the couple Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming) and Feng Wanyu (Gong Li) who have one daughter, Dan Dan (Zhang Huiwen). I don’t recall viewing a film with such a profound romantic story in a very long time and one that I highly recommend. Coming Home has a well written screenplay, amazing performances and beautiful cinematography by Director of Photography Zhao Xiaoding. Some scenes evoke very universal emotions and the devotion in this family unit is extraordinarily wonderful to see, given how different it is in many societies today.
During the Cultural Revolution, Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner and escapes after a decade in captivity. He attempts to see Feng and Dan Dan who excels as a dancer, but in the effort to do so, Feng is injured with a head trauma. Upon release as the Cultural Revolution is winding down, he returns home and learns of her amnesia and other traumas in the past that render her incapable of recognizing her one true love. It is so painful to see Lu’s repeated attempts to help her remember him, yet he remains a stranger. For all her life, she waits for Lu.
It is a very engaging story for the duration of the 109 minute film. It has a PG-13 MPAA rating and is in Mandarin with English sub-titles.
Coming Home is a 2014 Official Selection at both the Cannes Film Festival 2014 and the Toronto International Film Festival and opens at the Regal Cinemas Arbor 8 at Great Hills in Austin.
SOURCE: Sony Pictures Classics