Film Review: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011) by Johnnie To

“Don’t Go Breaking My Coronary heart,” helmed by Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To, is each a love story and a love letter to China’s rise. By interweaving China’s financial development in a romantic narrative, it turns into an attention-grabbing instance of a movie normal for transnational, border-crossing storytelling.

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The film revolves round Cheng Zixin, a monetary analyst and the 2 males eager in pursuing her. Certainly one of them is Cheung Shen-ran, the top of an funding financial institution and the opposite one is Fang Qihong, whose shoddy look and tendency to eat copious quantities of alcohol makes him appear to be a good-for-nothing deadbeat.  Qihong seems to be an architect, nonetheless, who turns into disillusioned and is definitely in the course of an existential disaster when he by accident meets Zixin by saving her from getting hit by a automobile. Shen-ran, alternatively, is the embodiment of the stereotypical Lothario – wealthy, charming, couldn’t preserve it in his pants, even when he claims to solely love Zixin.

It feels like a typical love triangle, however what makes it interesting is To’s worldbuilding. Through the use of the glass home windows of Hong Kong’s high-rise buildings because the medium or car for flirtation, wooing and connection between the characters, it places the viewers proper smack into the world of company women and men, creatures of modernity who combine their jobs with their love life and sexual conquests.  This model of setting was most popularly utilized by Alfred Hitchock in his film “Rear View.” By using the same approach, To deftly guides the viewers to realizing the attitude of the characters as they get to know one another by way of their glass home windows, by way of magic methods carried out throughout one another’s buildings in addition to sticking post-its formed into hearts on the home windows and waving handwritten messages to speak. 

Using buildings, once more, turns into a turning level for the movie when Zixin has to lastly make her resolution as to whom she ought to select between the 2. However the usage of the construction right here turns into symbolic too, as the trendy skyscraper is being constructed in Zixin’s hometown, in Suzhou, in the course of the post-2008 monetary disaster period. When the lives of the three protagonists first intersect, Hong Kong is on the cusp of affected by the ripple results of the Lehman Brothers’ monetary fiasco in 2008. After they meet once more, America continues to be within the doldrums, Hong Kong is regaining is footing and China is in its steady ascent. 

Gao Yuanyuan, Louis Koo and Daniel Wu exude, to a sure extent, the temperament of individuals within the company world, although there aren’t as many scenes that give them the prospect to point out the strain and the frenetic tempo that comes with it. Koo performs the glib playboy characterization to a T, whereas Wu’s finest scenes are those which present his innocence and sincerity. Gao is playful when wanted to be, relatably heartbroken when the scenes name for it. What she does have, undeniably, is chemistry with each main males.

Particulars are to not be neglected on this film, from the headwear, to the languages. The looks and inclusion of individuals within the company world who put on turbans to the truth that Caucasian ladies communicate the native language, as a substitute of English, replicate the cosmpolitan character of Hong Kong and the vibrancy of globalization. Zixin’s capability to additionally transfer from China to Hong Kong with ease, as a part of her job, additionally purveys transnationalism. In the meantime, Xavier Jamaux’s musical rating offers the movie considered one of its memorable moments, one that’s made simpler by the intelligent use of diegetics. 

“Don’t Go Breaking My Coronary heart” is a romantic movie that additionally reveals the evolving dynamics between Hong Kong and China as they redefine their place within the international financial panorama at a vital time. It’s a love story about trendy males, ladies and a peek on the rise of recent China. 



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