Mountains May Depart (Shan he gu ren) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mountains May Depart (Shan he gu ren) Reviews

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October 23, 2018
The structure is great, the emotions are rich, but the third act unravels my prior impression and that's a shame. It's always better to have a bad film with a mindblowing ending than the reverse of that.
½ September 16, 2018
The modernisation was of good effect. The story otherwise did not work for me. Terrible.
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2018
A disjointed, cheesy and poorly-acted film that constantly shifts focus between characters (even abandoning them for no reason), with arbitrary leaps in time that make everything seem too superficial and unimportant to work as a look at the lives of common people.
December 29, 2017
Thoughtful and well acted drama on regrets and decisions in life.
July 31, 2017
A bunch of 40 year olds trying to act like teenagers. Then '20 years later' they have exact same look, but now more realistic to their real age. Enough said. The direction sucks with so many useless shots. The actress got the lead probably because she's filthy rich but can't act to save her life. I really tried for 40 minutes and was just too much. Not sure why so many good reviews.. don't believe me? Go watch it yourself.
½ June 15, 2017
Mountains May Depart es un vistazo a la naturaleza de las emociones y a las historias que puede generar una vida. Para quienes están acostumbrados al cine occidental, este filme confirma la universalidad de los sentimientos.
La estructura de la película resulta bastante interesante. Basta con señalar que la presentación principal del título ocurre casi una hora después de que el filme ha iniciado. Esto pareciera dejar en claro que la primera parte se trata simplemente de una introducción y no representa necesariamente la esencia de la película; un buen pretexto para los grandes saltos que da la historia durante los primeros minutos, así como la rapidez con la que se desarrollan determinadas situaciones. A partir de este punto, la cinta se torna más lenta y profunda, involucrando no sólo sentimientos románticos, sino también demás elementos y emociones que aportan mayor diversidad al relato. Esta diversidad es tan amplia que en ocasiones pareciera que se trata de distintas películas que se encuentran ligeramente conectadas y que alternan el rol protagonista de los personajes.
Se trata de una historia sentimental y reflexiva que recorre distintos aspectos de las emociones humanas, apoyándose en un interesante entorno y elementos propios del país en el que se desarrolla, lo que permite contar con un filme que no sólo funciona como un reflejo de las características humanas, sino también como un pequeño retrato de la cultura china y los elementos que la conforman.
A pesar de las buenas intenciones del director y la reflexión que busca generar, Mountains May Depart puede resultar vaga y poco interesante por momentos, recorriendo un camino que pareciera no tener un rumbo totalmente definido y restándole solidez a la cinta en general. El resultado de esta situación es una película con elementos destacables pero que se aleja de ser completamente disfrutable.
March 25, 2017
Lots of pregnant pauses. Dug the directorial style, but no idea what really happened in that third act. Was that supposed to be the same dog? Was Liangzi still good? Great insight into Chinese culture, as was recommended to me.
½ November 23, 2016
Like a changing urban landscape, the humans as well!

When everybody around me liked the director's previous film 'A Touch of Sin', I didn't. As a film fanatic, reject such kind of film is not an easy job without giving a proper reason. I thought that was a missed opportunity. I surely like art films, not the boring one like those aimlessly narrated. I really loved some of the scenes there, but here it was completely different. Most importantly, anybody would understand what the film is trying to say without trying too hard.

This is a theme where the China's rise was revealed from the three people's personal life perspective that was categorised to the three generations or the timelines. That's not it, the communism was also highlighted, how it held back the people's freedom. The writer was really smart to smoothly disclosing that to the world. I mean the film never dragged the China's ruling party or its system, but all were told from its character who struggled and if you use your brain, you will get it why.

The narration was divided into three episodes. The first one takes place in the year 1999, in a small town somewhere in the China which is economically backward. The story follows a young woman named Tao, who is caught in a love triangle. But for the practical reason, she has to choose one of them and when she does, the other guy leaves the town with the heartbroken. This is the foundation, that dragged for nearly 40 minutes. Obviously slow, but very realistic approach.

I grew up in the 90s, my country was not much different than what's in this film was shown. So I liked the atmosphere, all those the 90s set, the automobiles, lifestyle, the landscapes of the small towns et cetera taken me back to that time. But the thing is, it was China, society and culturally different. Anyway, it was past and what follows are totally flips the narration, including the perspective.

"You know the hardest thing, about love is caring."

The second episode takes place in the year 2014, which is something like the present. It reveals what's the status of all the main three characters, like where they're economically standing and the personal life struggles. Tao's married life did not go well and her son is around ten years old who visits her from Shanghai. The one who left the town is now returned and battling for his life for some reason.

In the last 15 years, the China significantly changed and still, this entire part is set in the same town which is now economically moved forward. Like the changing urban landscape, how these characters too changed were what focused on this section.

Then comes the final episode where it is now in the year 2025, that takes place somewhere in the Australia. The perspective was changed, the little boy is now in his 20s, seems lost is root. With his behaviour, you would notice that his lack of knowledge about his ancestors. He who has the differences with his father, decides to make his life as he wanted. That is why the parents should take responsibility to teach their children all the good things about their culture and traditions, and to carry on, it's up to them. Because losing one's identity could lead to the failures in the life.

This is the part I liked better. Because it was something like what I encountered in my life. Most of the childhood memories that returns after we're grown-up as the deja vu, like the history repeating itself. Here for pointing out the freedom one to buy a gun was indirectly hit the communism. I mean gun was not a threat, it was just an expressed how it affects people in all the similar circumstances. I meant, what something was hidden brings more eagerness for us to know about it than those are in the out. So forcing something on people is sometime is a bad idea.

All the actors were good, but apart from the slow screenplay, I liked the idea of this film. There are some other similar films, like how different generations behave and now this is among them, yet not the best out of all of them. Very much watchable, only if you are capable of handling slow drag. If you know this director very well or the fan of his works, you will find it a pretty interesting film. I won't recommend it, but I also won't either suggest you to skip it.

7.5/10
September 28, 2016
Jia is undoubtedly a talented director, but "Mountains May Depart" is a drama that falls flat thanks to a melodramatic introduction, the fragmented narrative that follows, and a conclusion without closure.
½ September 15, 2016
La octava película de Jia Zhangke, uno de los directores provenientes de China más interesantes de la actualidad, es un arriesgado ejercicio formal que busca contar una historia a partir de tres episodios (casi tres películas en una), conjugando tanto el pasado, presente y futuro de China, como el pasado, presente y futuro de sus personajes.
La película gira en torno a una mujer llamada Shen Tao (interpretada por Zhao Tao, la actriz fetiche del director). El primer episodio, ubicado en 1999 y filmado en un encuadre televisivo, nos muestra a Tao bailando al ritmo de los Pet Shop Boys y en el centro de un triángulo amoroso que acaba con la amistad de dos jóvenes. El segundo episodio, ubicado en 2014 y filmado en un encuadre cinematográfico canónico, nos muestra a Tao divorciada, enfrentándose a tres tragedias que involucran a personas muy cercanas a su corazón. El último episodio, ubicado en 2025 y grabado en un formato digital de alta definición, se centra en el hijo de Tao, ahora adolescente, que busca reencontrarse con su pasado al mismo tiempo que desea liberarse de su presente.
Esta es una película tanto ambiciosa como muy humana, donde cada elemento debe pensarse desde múltiples perspectivas. Es un trabajo retador para el espectador, que habla sobre muchas cosas: la transformación del país más grande del mundo, el acto de dar como posibilidad de redención, la repetición como parte de la dinámica de la vida y la evolución creativa de un gran director.
½ September 15, 2016
La octava película de Jia Zhangke, uno de los directores provenientes de China más interesantes de la actualidad, es un arriesgado ejercicio formal que busca contar una historia a partir de tres episodios (casi tres películas en una), conjugando tanto el pasado, presente y futuro de China, como el pasado, presente y futuro de sus personajes.
La película gira en torno a una mujer llamada Shen Tao (interpretada por Zhao Tao, la actriz fetiche del director). El primer episodio, ubicado en 1999 y filmado en un encuadre televisivo, nos muestra a Tao bailando al ritmo de los Pet Shop Boys y en el centro de un triángulo amoroso que acaba con la amistad de dos jóvenes. El segundo episodio, ubicado en 2014 y filmado en un encuadre cinematográfico canónico, nos muestra a Tao divorciada, enfrentándose a tres tragedias que involucran a personas muy cercanas a su corazón. El último episodio, ubicado en 2025 y grabado en un formato digital de alta definición, se centra en el hijo de Tao, ahora adolescente, que busca reencontrarse con su pasado al mismo tiempo que desea liberarse de su presente.
Esta es una película tanto ambiciosa como muy humana, donde cada elemento debe pensarse desde múltiples perspectivas. Es un trabajo retador para el espectador, que habla sobre muchas cosas: la transformación del país más grande del mundo, el acto de dar como posibilidad de redención, la repetición como parte de la dinámica de la vida y la evolución creativa de un gran director.
½ September 13, 2016
In short: Promised much more than predecessor A Touch Of Sin (2013) but neither delivered. Especially the third part (year 2025) disappointed, barely extrapolating from nowadays

Saw this movie at the Rotterdam film festival (IFFR.COM) 2016. From the same film maker I saw A Touch of Sin in 2013 (saw it even twice), which experience I found marginally satisfactory (score 6/10), contrary to all positive reviews I've read before and after. I was prepared to give this successor movie as of 2015 a chance, as it promises much more due to its intention to not only showcase a contemporary China, but also how it has changed/will change over a time span of 25 years. A daring undertaking, particularly as it is not easy to predict what the future looks like over 10 years.

Overall I had three general issues. Firstly, I saw unsympathetic characters all over, none of them possible to sympathize with (maybe only Dollar, as he is the product of the others, hence not guilty). Secondly, I saw an illogical story line from begin to end. And thirdly I saw unnatural acting, of which I assume it is typically how Chinese actors behave? (I remember this vaguely from an earlier experience like this, when we were told in the final Q&A that this form of over-acting is normal in China).

And I had a fourth issue, last but not least: the bold but failed attempt to cover 25 years (1999, 2014 and 2025). This time span is too large for us to jump through, needing time to pick the differences and the similarities. Especially a miserable attempt was to visualize the future (10 years ahead), because what we saw was not really futuristic and merely a slightly upgraded image of the present. A novel view on a possible future is always interesting, thought provoking at the least. Alas, this one was laughable and underestimated what can happen in 10 years time.

Both movies of this film maker show that he is able to deliver an impressive product, both very watchable, but somehow neither landed with me considering its contents. Being interested in far-away countries where we know not much about, movies like this pique my interest and are more informative than what a superficial 3-weeks holiday can ever provide. A film festival like this offers an easy and accessible means to look around in the world.
August 21, 2016
4 stars. BD. ??? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
August 3, 2016
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½ August 1, 2016
Jia seems to have fooled the gullible Western critics, but propaganda is propaganda, even when it's filmed well.
July 23, 2016
Every shot of Jia's film is spectacular -- every scene aches with longing, every performance is full of heart and precisely timed, and every character is fully-realized and complex -- this is a film that caters to the heart and soul, one that encompasses the past, present, and hopeful future, and it's one of the best films I've seen all year.
July 21, 2016
An old every day story that is so much today .
June 2, 2016
I saw its humanities side.
But, sorry to say, it doesn't match my viewing-appetite at all.
May 26, 2016
This movie is amazing! the storyline taking place within three different years is pretty awesome!
April 3, 2016
skirtingu kulturu itaka ateities kartom.. must see #kinopavasaris2016
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