Letter from an Unknown Woman

Watch Letter from an Unknown Woman

  • 2004
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 6.7  (749)

Letter from an Unknown Woman is a 2004 Chinese drama film directed by Xu Jinglei. The movie stars Jue Huang, Wen Jiang, and Huang Jiao in lead roles. The story revolves around a renowned artist, Chen Handong (played by Wen Jiang), who receives a letter from an unknown woman, Ye Fan (played by Jue Huang). The letter tells Handong about their shared past when they lived in the same apartment block. Fan had a crush on Handong since she was a teenager, and she loved him silently from far away. One day, she got a chance to approach Handong, and they spend a night together, after which Handong forgets her.

The letter unleashes a flood of memories and emotions in Handong, who cannot recall Fan or the night they spent together. As he reads more letters written by Fan, he begins to unravel their past and the profound impact Fan had on his life. The letters reveal the life of Ye Fan in detail, providing an insight into the hopes, dreams, and tragedies of Fan's life that Handong was completely unaware of.

Fan reveals to Handong that their one-night stand produced a child, who Fan had to take care of alone. Fan describes her hard life and the remarkable trials she endures to provide a good life for her son. Fan ultimately dies of consumption, leaving her son orphaned. Handong remembers nothing about Fan, but her testimony before her death spurs him to contemplate what his memory loss may mean.

The film's climax is both poignant and melancholic, as Handong finally recognizes that his life and destiny have been determined by their past experiences together. The film tackles themes of sacrifice, unrequited love, and the self-destructive human tendency to idealize the past. There are no villains, no happy endings here but only unalterable reality.

The movie boasts a stunning cinematography and an evocative score, which adds to the mysterious and melancholic tone of the film. The acting performances of the lead actors are exemplary, especially Jue Huang, whose portrayal of Ye Fan is both captivating and poignant.

The camera observes the protagonists closely, capturing the subtle nuances of their characters with intensity and emotion. The pacing of the movie is consistently measured, with moments of silence and stillness that enhance the film's mood and atmosphere.

Overall, Letter from an Unknown Woman is an emotionally raw and thought-provoking film that demands attention and exploration. The movie is remarkable for its evocative atmosphere, breathtaking cinematography, and top-notch performances. It's an undisputed classic of Chinese cinema that delivers a powerful and unforgettable message about the impermanence of life, the bittersweetness of memories, and the impact we can have on others.

Letter from an Unknown Woman
Letter from an Unknown Woman doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (749)