Watch So Close to Paradise
- 1 hr 33 min
So Close to Paradise is a 1998 Chinese film directed by Wang Xiaoshuai. Set in the bustling metropolis of Shenzhen in Southern China, the movie depicts the lives of a trio of young people struggling to make ends meet while trying to achieve their dreams. The main character is a young woman named Li Qiuying, played by Tong Wang. She is a worker in a factory that assembles electronic products, a job that offers little pay and even less prospects of advancement. As the story begins, Li Qiuying is fed up with her life and the constant pressure from her brother to leave the city and return to their hometown.
However, she finds hope in the form of a street vendor named Ah Ping, played by Yu Shi. Ah Ping is a cheerful and optimistic young man who sells pirated CDs and other items on the streets of Shenzhen. Despite his humble occupation, Ah Ping is kind-hearted and ambitious, and he dreams of becoming a successful businessman.
The third member of the trio is a young factory worker named Xiao Bo, played by Tao Guo. Like Li Qiuying, Xiao Bo has a dead-end job and no prospects of advancement. However, he is skilled in the art of computer programming and dreams of inventing a game that will make him rich and famous.
As the story progresses, the lives of the three characters become intertwined. Li Qiuying begins a romance with Ah Ping, who helps her to see the brighter side of life. Meanwhile, Xiao Bo becomes involved with a group of hackers who offer to help him develop his game in exchange for his help in their cybercrimes.
As the characters pursue their dreams, they are forced to confront the harsh realities of life in modern China. The film explores themes such as poverty, corruption, and the struggle to maintain one's principles in a world driven by greed and ambition.
One of the strengths of the movie is its portrayal of the city of Shenzhen. The film captures the energy and vibrancy of this rapidly developing city, with its bustling streets, flashy advertisements, and towering skyscrapers. At the same time, it also depicts the darker side of Shenzhen, with its slums, sweatshops, and overcrowded living conditions.
The performances of the three lead actors are also noteworthy. Tong Wang delivers a nuanced and sympathetic performance as Li Qiuying, conveying her character's frustration and determination with equal skill. Yu Shi shines as Ah Ping, bringing a joyful energy to the film that is both infectious and uplifting. Tao Guo also delivers a solid performance as Xiao Bo, portraying his character's inner struggles and moral dilemmas with subtlety and depth.
Overall, So Close to Paradise is a touching and thought-provoking film that offers a glimpse into a side of China rarely seen in Western media. With its realistic portrayal of contemporary urban life and its engaging characters, the movie provides a moving exploration of human relationships and the pursuit of happiness in a rapidly changing world.