■Our reporter Liu Qing
Before the movie "Man Jianghong" was released, 72-year-old Zhang Yimou said that he felt anxious as if he had to hand in homework.
Now it seems that this homework was handed in beautifully: on the third day of its release, the box office exceeded 1.2 billion yuan, surpassing "The Wandering Earth 2", temporarily ranking first in the box office list during the Spring Festival.
At present, films account for the highest proportion of films in theaters, and the momentum is quite strong.
A director with strong creative ability has caught the pulse of the current Chinese film market. He fulfilled his promise: "make the audience laugh 30 times." The entire film of "Manjianghong" is layered with flipped fronts, creating an experience similar to immersive script killing.
In order to complete the linguistic edge, Zhang Yimou actually restrained the space and fun that the film can play.
But even if he abandoned the visual expression he was good at, gave up the privilege of the film and repeatedly handed over to the actors to "state" the crucial plot and character relationship, from this "cool film" that runs the plot at an accelerated rate, he can still Repeatedly recognize Zhang Yimou's creative background.
In a purely cinematic way, suspense and comedy are combined
The first picture of "Manjianghong" is a bird's-eye view of a group of imperial soldiers trotting through the narrow alleys of the house, then the camera sinks down, and follows the running soldiers through the winding courtyard, and then pulls behind the flower window, peeping through the window The night and the people in the night.
At the end of this moving shot, the screen switched, and Shen Teng's face full of joy appeared.
Zhang Yimou demonstrates his mastery as a veteran craftsman with a crisp opening scene in a film that suits the taste and rhythm of contemporary audiences.
He mentioned before that suspense and comedy are two types of films with a strict grammar. These two types of films are rarely and difficult to "combine into one".
In this regard, what is commendable about "Man Jianghong" is not necessarily the "flip" of the screenwriter's mechanical séance setting, but the director's use of pure film techniques such as flexible space scheduling and neat editing to combine suspense and comedy.
The film does not strictly correspond to the time of the drama as the screenwriter claims, although the time of the drama is consistent with the duration of the movie, which is an hour or more.
But judging from the presentation of the movie, part of the drama time has been lengthened and magnified, and correspondingly, part of the time belonging to the actions of the characters has quietly disappeared.
Just like the blindfold in terms of time, the details of the film are not as rigorous as it advertises.
Song girl Yaoqin and soldier Zhang Da sang "When will I go home to wash the robes?" twice, in order to express their feelings and ambitions.
When Jiang Jie was born, the Jin Dynasty had collapsed, and the country he experienced was the Mongolian iron cavalry going south and the Southern Song army defeating Yashan.
The background of "Manjianghong" is Yue Fei's death, the Song court went south, and people in the early Southern Song Dynasty sang lyrics after the death of the Song Dynasty, which seemed somewhat abrupt.
Of course, this "fault" is a continuation of Zhang Yimou's characteristics to a certain extent. The "Southern Song Dynasty" in "Man Jianghong", just like the "Qin" in "Heroes" and the "Three Kingdoms" in "Shadow", have a specific historical background, but The time and space background of the drama is suspended again, and the movie becomes an empty fable.
The gloomy prime minister temporarily stationed in Jiefu evokes the memories of "Raise the Red Lantern"; the story of Yaoqin is the echo of "Thirteen Beauties of Jinling" after many years; Qin Hui and his double are just like the true and false governors of "Shadow"... …The details on the bright side are obvious "Zhang Yimou elements", but the film's more hidden spiritual background is rooted in Zhang Yimou's "unprecedented pure text performance", which is the appearance of "Man Jianghong" at the end of the film and be recited.
The end of the suspenseful reversal is an action out of love
At the end of historical romance and suspense reversal, Zhang Yimou has repeatedly emphasized that the core of "Man Jianghong" is an action out of love.
In the crisis-filled and bloody game-in-game, the ultimate goal of a group of relentless little people is not to kill and revenge, but to recover the erased "last words" of the heroes.
"Thirty fame and dust, eight thousand miles of road, cloud and moon." From one person's recitation to a group of people's recitation, this is the decisive moment of the movie "Man Jianghong".
At this moment, the performances of Yi Yang Qianxi and Lei Jiayin are not important, and the group performances with bursts of sound are not important. The text of this poem itself demonstrates its amazing emotional energy.
This is an extremely sensational moment, not only because of the rhetorical and emotional impact of this poem, but more importantly, it steps from the "disappeared" darkness into eternal circulation.
It is conceivable that the audience will feel excited in the theater-the hero has been rectified, his voice has broken through the blockade, and the works that carry his beliefs will eventually defeat the conspiracy and gain eternal life beyond time.
However, the fairy tales surrounding heroes, beliefs and literary creations are also mixed.
Looking back at "The Love of the Hawthorn Tree", Jingqiu had no chance to see "a bright red flower blooming from the hawthorn tree" with her own eyes. The love between her and the third child is not only a pure fairy tale, but also a legend that cannot be witnessed.
Zhang Yimou's complicated attitude of hesitating to talk is precipitated in the final reversal of "Man Jianghong".
In the movie, the poem "Manjianghong" is said to be Yue Fei's last pen written in Fengboting, which was erased by Qin Hui; several years later, "Qin Hui" was forced to recite "Manjianghong" in front of the forbidden army, so that the poem could be seen again. The person's true identity is a double, a "shadow" destined to disappear in history, and the real Qin Hui doesn't even know the details of Yue Fei's dying.
With the death of the "stand-in", the truth can no longer be revealed, and the appearance and reappearance of "Manjianghong" has become a legend that cannot be witnessed.
Only the works are true, and the words "Don't be idle, the boy's head is white, empty and sad" are true, and they are stronger than the truth.
Behind the sensationalism lies the deepest desire of the author, which also constitutes the fable pointed to by this sketch that is constantly being deconstructed—the "speech" and "recitation" at this moment will constitute the spirit of the future history.
"Wen Wei Po" 2nd Edition January 25, 2023