Plot: Seductive, violent yet philosophical gangster drama throws audiences into the verve of the crime-ridden streets of San Paolo, district called Liberdade, where thousands of immigrants looking for a new life and fresh opportunities in the New World.
Yuda, a Chinese immigrant, and his adopted son Kirin, who he saved being eaten by a tiger in the jungle, stand at the head of a massive pirated goods operation that brings in both money and influence. But their empire is crumbling, as corrupt politicians and rival gangs seek to end their power in the city. Yuda is soon got arrested and his dedicated son tries his best to save not just the family business, but his father's reputation.
'Plastic City' debuted at the 65th Venice Film Festival on August 30, 2008 in Venice, Italy. It is the only Chinese movie that competed for Golden Lion award in 2008.
“I’ve integrated some classic elements of Asian genre films, such as a sword fight, into this story of the end of a video piracy empire,” Yu told Variety. “As foreigners, the characters are incredibly fragile, and from different generations we see one clinging on to power and the other more of an idealist.”
«Plastic City is one of those films saddled with expectations of brilliance thanks to the pedigree of both director and actors and the intriguingly multi-cultural aspect of it. It is not, but it’s still easy to see how it could have been. Yu has a fantastic eye and an interesting sense of character and story and is definitely one to keep a close eye on going forward.»
«Yu has a good eye for compositions, and (as in “Love”) Lai Yu-fai’s saturated, noirish HD lensing of bars, slums and sweat-soaked interiors is always atmospheric. But the script, full of gangster cliches, futuristic cityscapes and even manga-like martial arts, is a mess, poised between pretentiousness and perplexity.»
«Not without bumps - the main characters could sometimes stand to be a little more talkative, especially when making strange decisions - but well enough. Even as someone who is usually more curious about the procedural details than gangsters' personal lives, I found it an impressive bit of work.»
«Despite some moments of visual brilliance, this third directorial outing by Jia Zhangke’s regular cinematographer betrays the same dominance of pop-existential style over dramatic substance that marred his 2003 sci-fi trudge All Tomorrow’s Parties. »
«So, yes, from it's look through the performances by Odagiri and his co-stars and even to the propulsive soundtrack composed by Yoshihiro Hanno "Plastic City" is an impressive film, but it's not without its flaws.»
«Plastic City is basically felt like plastic itself itself. It might be a beautiful looking product that made up with various chemical elements but essentially, it’s a lifeless product that’s not a natural origin.»
«Part conventional mob yarn and part comic book fantasy, the film's setting amongst the ex-patriot community of Sao Paolo, said to be the biggest in the world, is fascinating initially but the Chinese director's indulgence in wild fantasy becomes absurd. Prospects beyond cult festivals appear dim.»
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