Ye Lanqiu (Gao Yuanyuan) is a lovely and profitable young lady who, as the film opens, is diagnosed with an sophisticated lymphatic cancer that demands quick therapy. Numb with shock, Lanqiu sits on a crowded city bus, hiding behind substantial sunglasses and totally oblivious to what is taking place about her, not even registering the conductor’s persistent request that she give up her seat for an elderly pensioner. This moment of perceived incivility is recorded on a mobile telephone by an assistant to journalist Chen Ruoxi (Yao Chen), and the zealous reporter swiftly decides to go viral with the video, flooding the net with the footage of the callous “Sunglass Girl”. The video triggers a enormous net hate-mail campaign against the currently stricken Lanqiu, and heralds even extra catastrophes in each her individual and qualified life. But fate is not but completed with Lanqiu, and the chaotic course she has been unjustly set upon will, by way of a chain of bizarre coincidences, bring her face to face with the extremely individual who produced her a public pariah. [Source: Programmer’s Note, 2012 Toronto International Film Festival]
This modern dramedy is by director and writer, Chen Kaige, 1 of the major figures of the fifth generation of Chinese cinema who is renowned for his epic storytelling and visually spectacular period pieces. It characteristics an ensemble cast such as Yao Chen, Mark Chao, Gao Yuanyuan, Wang Xueqi and producer/Chen’s wife, Chen Hong.
Director Chen’s Farewell My Concubine (1993) won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and he remains the initially and only Chinese director to have been honoured with the film festival’s highest award to date.