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Young violinist Xiaochun and his father move from their small, provincial town to Beijing so Xiaochun can audition for a prestiguous music academy. Their new life is unfamiliar but full of promise, allowing the young man to truly figure out which direction he wants to take in life.Written by
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About lives and sacrifices, young and old, dreams and reality.
The positive things are all you can imagine and more. The acting is believable, the casting just right, the music is spectacular as are the performances, and the story is nice with a little surprise beginning slowly half way thru and blossoming near the end. Except for that there are no real unpredictable moments. The interplay between the story and music is accomplished masterfully. I remember listening to many of those selections as a boy and how the emotions in the music generated tears. The same emotions are here and yet amplified by the conditions in the lives of the people and the needs that drive them. You know the story: a peasant father whose son is a violin talent and who sacrifices everything to move to a big city so the boy can have advanced instruction and rightfully achieve fame and fortune. The boy's mother died when he was a baby and the only thing she left him was a violin, the same one he plays now and cherishes because of her. His talent is recognized by a master teacher who long ago has lost the woman he loved and has withdrawn from society with the exceptions of caring for stray cats and teaching untalented students - for his survival. There is a nice minor theme in the relationship between the teacher sinking and the student rising. A secondary theme develops between the boy and a woman he sees and meets at the train station. She is a man chaser and the boy sees beauty and fun in her beginning with an argument with her boyfriend who she kisses on parting. It turns out that she and the boy live near to each other and he plays violin for her. Because of her, the father wants to change teachers and convinces an up-scale teacher to work with the boy. The teacher reluctantly accepts; however, the boy doesn't want to leave the first teacher. Another energy to drive the plot.
Negative things, which likely trigger the PG label are, in my opinion, minimal. The boy has pictures of women he places in his music books. At first you are to think he is a naughty little boy; indeed, the father accuses him so, and yet you realize eventually that the pictures represent the mother he never met. The boy is enamored by the woman he meets in the train station; he even helps her prepare a party for her boyfriend; and goes with her when she shops. The father gets angry with him; hits him, likely for the first time; takes the picture of the lady away; and the boy hits back, unacceptable in his culture. Also, some of the women are portrayed as mean in their verbal attacks and this includes a young female violinist. The movie should be fine for any child who can read or understand that Chinese dialect. I'd like to see it again and I'll buy the DVD when it is released.
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