I had been waiting for this movie to come out in the Singapore theatres for ages. Jamie dear had already caught it long long long ago I think, last year even, and I was so jealous. When I finally saw that it was screening in cinemas, it was like "YAY!". I don't really watch movies nowadays, and sometimes, I end up missing a couple of movies I've wanted to watch, but just didn't have the time or company to go. So it was a real pleasure that I actually got my girlfriend to accompany me to watch the film over the weekend. The film was great. Seriously.
The whole atmosphere, the shuffling between his childhood to teens to adult life scenes, showing his growth as a dancer, his life, his changing thoughts, the ballet itself, man, I was enthralled by it all. His life was really tough, the people in the olden days really had it tough. Gruelling practices daily, being scolded 'pighead' when he couldn't do the splits, not allowing children to cry when they miss their parents. It doesn't sound like a very happy childhood. We kids nowadays are so unlike them. Tsk tsk.
Also, the film touched on the oppression of communism and spoke against capitalism. The Chinese government was shown as controlling and strict. They demanded perfection (from the young students) and dictated how people should behave and think (when they captured Cunxin to force him to return to China). It was really an eye opener that such a film was even allowed to be made. I mean, wouldn' the Chinese be offended by the negative light that the film put them in?
Anyway, I felt that the ending was really touching, I cried a little when his parents went to watch him near the end of the show. I really thought the Chinese government had shot his parents as he dreamt in his nightmares. So imagine my surprise when they were still actually alive and managed to enter America to see their son perform. Shows that maybe the Chinese officials were not as bad as I thought they seemed, they actually managed to get his parents into America cos he was not allowed back to China anymore. And also, around eight years or so after the incident, he was actually allowed back to his homeland. Wasn't it a great ending to a real life story? :)
Even though I'm not a ballet expert, I felt that the ballet scenes were really enchanting. But then again, it was all a movie, where they show the background of the dancers, how they were put through the moves, so that's why I was captivated. I feel that what you see on stage, is actually less than half of what a dancer actually does. They undergo so many many practices daily, to perfect their style and techniques. It's the process that actually counts hey? Maybe someday, I will actually get to see a ballet performance in a theatre in reality. I really do hope so. It would be nice. (: