Review: ‘Gada Meilin’

Nicely shot in the endless, rolling grasslands of Inner Mongolia and the deserts just south, Feng Xiaoning's "Gada Meilin" is a notch above most exotic Chinese dramas devoted to minority ethnic heroes. Though Feng still shows few signs of being any more than a journeyman helmer, pic is further evidence that he's getting better with every pic.

Nicely shot in the endless, rolling grasslands of Inner Mongolia and the deserts just south, Feng Xiaoning’s “Gada Meilin” is a notch above most exotic Chinese dramas devoted to minority ethnic heroes. Though Feng still shows few signs of being any more than a journeyman helmer, pic is further evidence, after “Purple Sunset,” that he’s getting better with every movie. Pic opened in Beijing in July to underwhelming biz, but could have minimal offshore legs among curious Asiaphiles in film weeks.

After wrapping his “war & peace” trilogy with “Sunset,” film is the second in a “life & environment” trilogy that Feng begun back in 1989 with “The Ozone Layer Vanishes.” Gada, gruffly played by Mongolian thesp Ebusi, led an uprising by herdsmen in the late ’20s to prevent the sale of chunks of the Horqin grasslands to Japanese interests, before being killed at age 39 in 1931. Characters are basically stereotypes, though played with a touch more veracity than usual and, despite not being in widescreen, pic still has a reasonable sweep, aided by San Bao’s propulsive-melancholy score. “Meilin” is an honorary Mongolian title meaning head warrior.

Gada Meilin

China

Production

A China Film Group Co., CCTV, Beijing Forbidden City Film Co. production. (International sales: Beijing Forbidden City, Beijing.) Produced by Yang Buting, Zhou Boxiong, Zhao Huayong. Directed, written by Feng Xiaoning.

Crew

Camera (color), Feng, Gang Qiang; editor, Cheng Jie; music, San Bao; art directors, Guo Libin, Gao Hongxiang. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (World Greats), Aug. 24, 2002. Mandarin dialogue, Mongolian songs. Running time: 119 MIN. With: Ebusi, Liu Wei, Deligal, Turmen.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading