Coming home

whats his face

Coming home is a drama about a loving couple separated by the cultural revolution in China. Comrade Fang, the wife, and Comrade Lu, the husband, were separated when their daughter Dandan was only 3 years old. Lu was a professor, and was jailed. Many years later Lu escapes, and tries to come home to his wife and daughter, but his daughter has strong affiliation to the party and has her father sent back to jail when he tried to meet wife. At this point the movie skips forward three years, the cultural revolution has ended and Lu has just been released. To Lu’s dismay, his wife has grown ill and no longer recognizes him. For the rest of the movie, Lu tried different approaches to spark his wife’s memory of him, but nothing works. At some point, he accepts that she is not going to recognize him and just becomes her care taker. All the while she longs for her husband but is unable to realize that he is right next to her.

For whatever reason, this movie didn’t quite do it for me. I found myself kind of board. It was only an hour and a half movie, but it felt like I was sitting there way longer. As soon as she didn’t recognize her husband, it was clear the rest of movie was going to be him trying to spark her memory. It reminded me of an old school Chinese, more serious mix between The Notebook and 50 First Dates. This was a little dull for me, and I just didn’t get a real deep feel of sympathy for the characters. There wasn’t much to make me really invest in them as characters. On the bright side, I thought the cinematography was beautiful, and I found myself more interested in that than the story. There was a dark rainy shots which all worked really well. Judging off of the audience reaction, other people enjoy the film more so than I did. The sub-titles were also a bit of a pain for me. I sat pretty close to the screen because the theater was so crowded, and I had a hard time reading them and then looking at the current scene without feeling rushed. I’m interested to see what impression other people have from Coming Home, but for me it was a bit too slow paced and predictable.

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