Together Features Beijing Symphony
we meet Liu Xiaochun (Tang Yun), the 13-year-old prodigy violinist
featured in Chen Kaigeís, Together. He is living in a provincial
town where his father, Liu Cheng (Liu Peiqi), is bringing him
up. From here, the two travel via calm, idyllic waterways to hectic
Beijing. Because the teen won a music competition, they are heading
to an audition at a music school there. The film swirls with Western
classical music throughout. It contrasts the old lanes of Beijing
with its new sleek luxury malls.
From the moment they arrive at the train station, young Xiaochun
is introduced to a hard-edged new world as he watches a brash
call girl, Lili (Chen Hong) bid her latest fling a noisy farewell.
Though he places high in the music competition, the youngster
canít study at a state run school because he lacks a local residency
permit. He is able to stay unofficially and study with a private
This is the untidy, eccentric Prof. Jiang (Wang Zhiwen). Reduced
to tutoring spoiled untalented rich-kids, he welcomes the gifted
youngster. The unconventional professor tutors his student in
classical music, while the boy teaches him to be tidier in the
home he shares with many cats. Settling in by chance in an apartment
near Liliís, the father works as a bicycle deliverer and the teen,
when not studying violin, is caught up in Liliís world.
When Xiaochun falls out with his old tutor, his father arranges
for him to study with the celebrity-maker, Prof. Yu (played by
the director) who coolly pits Xiaochun against his girl pupil
(Zhang Qing) and turns him against his father. Tang, a violin
student himself, plays the prodigy perfectly.
The movie could do a better job of showing Xiaochunís surprise
and growth in the big city. Its ending has everyoneóthe father,
the old tutor and Liliópulling together for a life nobler than
a super star violinist. (118 minutes, in Mandarin with English
Also see LíAuberge Espangole (The Spanish Inn, in French
with English subtitles), a peppy preppy comedy that puts a mixed
group of grad students together in a study abroad program in Spain.#
information on film times and locations call 777-FILM.
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