Love can draw two people together, but so can loss. In Zhang Yuan's latest film, <i>I Love You</i>, it's difficult to say which emotion is more powerful, or which lies at the heart of the turbulent relationship between two young people struggling to understand each other and themselves.
Following their impetuous marriage, everything appears idyllic for Ju and Yi. They seem devoted to each other, but when their initial heady rush of emotions subsides, only jealousy and, even worse, indifference remain. Soon, declarations of love are replaced by spiteful accusations, and husband and wife must face their memories of past tragedies and an uncertain future.
As a Sixth Generation director, Zhang was one of the first to work outside the state-sponsored studios, sowing the seeds of China's fast-growing independent film movement. Graced with a quiet, understated filmmaking style, Zhang skillfully traces the disintegration of Ju and Yi's relationship in his most fully realized work to date. His close-ups are surprisingly intimate, but the most eloquent moment of the film comes when, in the middle of an argument between Ju and Yi, Zhang momentarily silences them, leaving only their gestures and music on the soundtrack. Suddenly, their relationship is revealed for what it truly is—a delicate dance of emotion.
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