Beijing Rocks
Hong Kong 2001
Directed by Mabel Cheung.

Hey, Beijing really does rock in this movie about a wimpy Hong Kong pop musician (Daniel Wu) whose rich folks send him to Beijing for inspiration. He gets in trouble, instead, and ends up going on the road with some Beijing rockers he meets in a club. The front man, Road (Geng Ye) is insane like all lead singers, and of course his girlfriend (Shu Qi) is damn fine. The other principle character is Black Whirlwind, Road's dog. Road really loves that little puppy. Toward the end, the plot takes a turn for the typical and goes down the tortured, self-destructive artist path, and this overly dramatic turn takes away from the movie's strength, which is its exploration of the indie rock scene in Beijing, An inside look at the youth culture in a communist society. The last moments of the film drag a bit too long, as if they were uncertain how to end the story. And in a way, I didn't want it to end. For once, here's a Hong Kong movie that shelves the insipid Cantopop crap and rocks out. Solid performances throughout, and Mabel Cheung's directing has moments of real inspiration.

Rating: Recommended (Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on May 08, 2004.

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