Good Film, Great Performances!
Jurai's Heir | Denham Springs, LA, USA | 12/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jasmine Women is the story of three generations of women from the same Shanhai China family: grandmother, mother and granddaughter.
Chapter 1: Grandmother - In the 1930's, Mo (Zhang Ziyi/Ziyi Zhang) who lives with her mother (Joan Chen), meets Mr. Meng (Jiang Wen), a manager of a movie studio. A close relationship with Meng makes Mo's dreams of being a famous movie star come true and leaves her pregnant and abandoned by Meng after the japanese invasion of China. After the baby girl is born Mo blames her daughter for everything that she has lost in her life.
Chapter 2: Mother - In the 1950's Li (Zhang Ziyi/Ziyi Zhang) has lived a life of great misery. She marries Zou Jie (Lu Yi) just to get away from her mother Mo, now played by (Joan Chen). Unable to bear children of her own, she adopts a baby girl, named Hua. In time, from miscarrying and bad childhood memories, she starts to lose her mind, which leads her husband Zou to commit suicide. Li leaves the family never to be seen or heard from again.
Chapter 3: Granddaughter - In the 1980's Hua (Zhang Ziyi/Ziyi Zhang) has been raised by her grandmother Mo (Joan Chen). Mo treated her own daughter Li very badly, but now finds comfort in caring for her granddaughter. Hua gets pregnant from her husband Xia Du (Liu Ye), who got married in secret from her grandmother, after her husband goes far away to school she tells her grandmother about the marriage and that she's pregnant. After finding out, she tells Hua about how having children in the family is a curse to them, not listening to her grandmother she commits suicide by drinking a bottle of Jasmine perfume that she had when she was very young. Hua divorces Xia because of his infidelity and starts a better life with her daughter.
The performances from Zhang Ziyi/Ziyi Zhang and Joan Chen are excellent. Zhang/Ziyi won the Best Actress Golden Rooster award in 2004 for this film, she also plays all three of the young women and Joan Chen plays them when they get older. However like a reviewer said on another website "the story leaves you wanting more" & he is right, I wanted more out of the three storys. The film does have drama in it, but it's no "The Joy Luck Club" which was a great film!. I didn't mention everything that will be in the film, because that would give it all away. I don't know if this is a Bootleg version of the film, because it's plays and it looks like a Offical release, which is really good, The colors on this DVD are dark and rich. The sound is really good, I see nobody getting up in front of the screen, so it's Offical and the picture nevers freezes. This film only contains one disc too.
16:9 Widescreen. In color. All NTSC. Language: Mandarin or Cantonese. Subtitles: Traditional Chinese. Simplified Chinese. English. 130 mins.
Sound: Digital DTS Surround or Dolby Digital 5.1.
The making of "Jasmine Women". Poster gallery. Photo gallery. and the Trailer to the movie. (note that the behind the scenes and the Trailer are in Mandarin/Cantonese, also for those two special features there are no subtitles) to understand."
A very sad yet bitter-sweet family saga
JustAForeignReader | Major Earthquake Faultline | 10/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"the bad luck and bad fortune haunted this single-mom family generation after generation. what a sad story...but the castings, the directing and the screenplay are all the best ever! a very sad sad story."
One of the worst among Zhang Zi-yi's career, but it's not he
Shirley L. Chiang | Bay Area, CA USA | 08/01/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It is quite rare that I did not even want to finish watching a film. But this movie is beyond just a bad make. The directorship, the script and the performance in combination is probably one of the worst among recent Chinese films. Zhang Zi-yi tried. But even the best actors in the world cannot salvage a movie under such poor construction. The dialogue is as ridiculous as it can be. Joan Chen's performance is as her usual- plain and phony. Cinematography is the only thing worth given some credit. What a waste though. This movie is a rare trash."
A poorly made movie about Chinese history
Sonia Hu | NY, USA | 11/14/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As famous Chinese film director's Zhang Yi Mou's former cameraman, Hou Yong did his best to make this film into a grand piece even with Zhang's help (he read the script and suggested Hou not to use one actress to play three roles). However, it's obvious that he's lack of Zhang's talent and creativeness. Everywhere in the movie, you can see his effort which very annoying to watch. The movie is based on the short fiction originally written by prestigious novelist Su Dong which was more a stylish writing than a simply story. It written style and language is superb however the story itself has many flaws historically since Su failed to do his research about the 20s' to 30's era.
In terms of acting, Zhang Ziyi did her best to play the leading role, however her lack of experience about life and Chinese history obviously made her acting a lot off balance.
As someone whose family legacy is around the same period of time in the same city Shanghai, I can only say that this movie is a poor attempt to retell a story that portraits the sad and chaotic time from the 20s' to 80s' of Shanghai.
For someone who is not familiar with Chinese contemporary history, this movie maybe an interesting one to watch, however, to those whose family lived through the same era, this film is too pretentious and phony to watch.