Under The Hawthorn Tree – Not Only a Romance, But Also a Political Satire

Under The Hawthorn Tree is on the surface a simple love story, but indeed it is also a
subtle political satire on the evils of the Communist Party.

(Spoiler Warning)

1. At the beginning of the movie, the girl believes the red flowers represent
the Communist heroes and talks about the “rumor” in the textbook. The ending
shows us that it is only propaganda used to promote the heroes and the white
flowers of the same tree remind the girl of her boyfriend, instead of the
heroes. What’s more, the tree which used to symbolize the heroes is now
submerged by the water because of a new project. It implies that changes are
inevitable as time goes by.

2. Why does the nurse say to the girl that the boy does not have an incurable
disease? The Communist Party is probably trying to cover up the truth.

3. The girl is always expected to take the volleyball back during the game,
which shows communism is not void of hierarchy.

4. The main characters' parents are also victims under Communist rule.

5. The Communist Party song gives me goose pimples. The Communist Party is even
closer to you than your parents are?

6. People under Communist rule are deprived of freedom. The girl even dares not
call the boy intimately, which leads to the regret.

On the whole, it is a poetic and beautifully shot love story with a charismatic
cast with different nuances of facial expression. Despite the awkward silences showing
the time shifts with written words, I am deeply impressed by the creative mixture
of romance and political satire. 4 / 5

Merry-Go-Round 4 / 5 (One of the best three Hong Kong movies this year)
Undertow (Contracorriente)
4 / 5
Fair Game 4 / 5
The Cove 4 / 5
Unstoppable 3.5 / 5
The American 3.5 / 5

7 則留言:

  1. I agree this is one of the best 3 Hong kong movies~~~~
    [版主回覆11/28/2010 14:56:00]If you asked me to choose three best Hong Kong movies
    this year, I would surely pick 打擂台 Gallants, 歲月神偷 Echoes Of The Rainbow &
    東風破 Merry-Go-Round. Yan Yan Mak is one of the directors I admire. My
    favourite movie directed by her is a short film called August Story 八月的故事. The
    set was well crafted & the atmosphere blew me away. Merry-Go-Round
    is a visually stunning and nostalgic Hong Kong movie about regret and decision
    making. It delivers a message that we should take it easy when we make wrong
    decisions. 泰迪羅賓, 苗可秀 and 官恩娜 also act naturally. Still, Denise Ho, who
    does not resemble a mother and Lu Yulai, who looks too young and often plays a
    homosexual in his previous movies are miscast as a mother and a husband.
    Besides, although the exotic songs help create a moody atmosphere, they are
    overused throughout the movie. What's more, the relationship between 官恩娜 and 周俊偉
    can be further developed. Despite the flaws, this beautiful and
    passionate Hong Kong movie is definitely worth our support.

  2. 你有無睇社交網絡阿?
    D 對白好正,拍攝手法又幾特別~
    [版主回覆11/28/2010 18:30:00]社交網絡 - GOOD! I love the first and the last scenes. Very powerful. The editing is also good and the pace is fast. Still, the characters are not pleasing especially the main character who babbles a lot. I also think it is overrated in the United States.

  3. 山楂樹之戀... 我有很多朋友都話好睇... 好有感覺... !
    [版主回覆11/29/2010 10:36:00]so pure and romantic. I also love the creativity of mixing two different genres.

  4. 係喎~第一幕超impressed law~
    [版主回覆11/29/2010 10:37:00]I love the characterization. His personality is revealed in the first scene haha.

  5. Oops....I really miss those old good days although the people were not as rich as now.....(not even to mention the living standard) I still remember, however, people were so kind-hearted and innocent.... The feeling of love and being loved are so good. But it only happened at the time when I wear 紅領巾 (it's sort of like HK's Boy Scout) Fortunately, thanks to the movie director, we could pick up this feeling again through the film.
    [版主回覆12/07/2010 00:09:00]I am touched by the sincere love in the movie. At the same time, I also like its satire on politics which is so subtle that the government does not ban the movie. A very interesting mixture of two genres to me.

  6. Having said that (and refer to your comments), I would believe, especially after reading tons of books about comparative literature and cultural studies, it is just too difficult to know the true meaning from the writer although your points are fansicating and encouraging people to question.     Yet, be frank, I don't think the movie director,Zhang Yimou [dare to] has the underlying meaning that you mentioned. After all, I would strongly believe he still wanna do business in PRC. Anyway, it is good for you to raise those questions and keep us thinking. After all, who can deny the importance of the meaning of being a human being? Again, thank you very much.
    [版主回覆12/07/2010 00:29:00]Welcome! I especially find the difference bewteen the beginning and the ending ironic. Anyway, a movie can be interpreted differently by different people and that's one of the reasons why watching movies is an interesting experience.

  7. Welcome To My Rose Garden2011年2月11日 上午1:03

    山楂樹之戀 我最近看了,很喜歡這套用文革時期發展的愛情片,很純潔很真緻感人,女主角樣子很清秀,把角色演譯得恰到好處,男仔演來很純樸及正義感,把角色演得十分之出色. 這是我最近最愛之國內電影
    [版主回覆02/11/2011 01:11:00]Me too! Really love the atmosphere.