Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Left Ear - 左耳

The Left Ear (左耳) is an 2015 film out of Zhong Guo. The film stars Chen Duling, Ou Hao, Yang Yang, and Ma Sichun. The movie is the directorial debut of Alec Su. The end credit song was sung by Zhao Wei. The saw this at a local AMC movie theater.

The year is 2005. 4 seniors in high school begin their 100 day march to their college entrance exams. Li Er, the main protagonist of the film, cannot hear out of left ear. Li Er is secretly in love with a prominent member of the senior class, Xu Yi. This secret crush comes out in mysterious ways. However, Xu Yi's got an enemy in Zhang Yang. After a basketball game, Zhang Yang gets the attention of a local harlot, Li Bala. Bala is a singer at a local bar and draws the wrong crowd. Bala isn't shy about professing her love to Zhang. Even though Zhang is romantically linked to Guan Xiaotong. Bala eventually gets Zhang's attention. However, the weave of lies that fall ahead are many. Those lies eventually lead to the death of Bala. Li Er blames her death on Zhang and tries to make sense of her life at the same time.

On man, where do I even start. I might be too old for this stuff. But drama begets drama. The four main characters look for drama in their lives and get it. From secret lies to secret crushes, its predicated on bad decision making. Coming of age stories are based on innocence to bad to coming of age. You gotta do something bad to learn from it and turn around for the better. Which is what Hollywoods been selling for years. Looks like its hopped over to the other side of the pacific. As a parent and as someone who isn't that far removed from making life decisions, the emotions of people are heightened in a movie. You've got 2 hours to stuff years of emotions in scenes.

Outside of Ma, the rest of the cast had three facial expressions, no emotion, happy, and angry. Ma was the most resourceful in scenes, being naughty and good at the same time. Which lead to a constant questioning of the actions on screen. I was asking myself if its real or more deception. Because of the deception at the beginning of the film and the lack thereafter, I was wondering all movie. Which doesn't allow me to come along for the ride as their character develops.

If you like a coming of age story, this isn't bad. It also isn't good if you've use to the stuff out of USA recently. However, some of the emotions their dealing with isn't so much different than what could appear in a 80s brat pack film, like St. Elmo Fire. Trying to figure life out in the midst of chaos, deception, and the disgust of "friendship".

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