A beautiful circus acrobat falls for a petty crim in “Mini,” a lightweight romantic drama that’s largely a showcase for two good-looking Asian stars, Malaysian-born Angelica Lee and China’s Liu Ye. Smooth direction by Jin (the fine, understated drama “Chrysanthemum Tea,” 2000) and rich lensing by d.p. Yang Tao make this an easy sit, but the fluffy script, full of metaphysical voiceovers, doesn’t add up to much, making this one strictly for Asiaphile fests.
Mini (Lee), an aerial performer in the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe, falls for grungy vidstore owner Kang (Liu). He’s a goal-less loafer who steals people’s wallets as a hobby. She’s a wistful, hard-working innocent whose parents divorced when she was young and whose mom moved to Hong Kong 10 years ago; an uncle from Canada (Hong Kong’s Roy Cheung), with shady business connections, is her only confidant. After time in prison for pickpocketing, Kang falls in with some gangsters, shattering Mini’s dream of a life together. Lee makes the most of an idealized character but never seems to quite connect on-screen with Liu, who scowls his way through a wastrel role. Other credits are all pro.