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Dazzling

Flashy and derivative, "Dazzling" doesn't quite live up to its title, but this youth-oriented romance has enough going for it to warrant some interest from fest programmers. Second feature by director Xin Lee borrows freely from Win Wenders' "Wings of Desire" in its depiction of angels watching over people -- this time in the city of Shanghai.

Flashy and derivative, “Dazzling” doesn’t quite live up to its title, but this youth-oriented romance has enough going for it to warrant some interest from fest programmers. Second feature by director Xin Lee borrows freely from Win Wenders’ “Wings of Desire” (and “City of Angels,” the Hollywood remake) in its depiction of angels watching over people — this time in the city of Shanghai.

Pic begins with a spectacular special effects shot of a train lifting up off the tracks into the sky; it’s surprisingly similar to an effect in the Frank Borzage version of “Liliom,” made at Fox in 1930. Wu Gang (Wu Lala) is a cinema usher who believes angels can bring lovers together. Sensitive to light, but a great observer of people, Wu meets a young woman (Wu Xiaomin) in a bar and arranges to meet her the next day in a park. She doesn’t show, but while he’s waiting, Wu observes a number of romantic incidents involving patrons of the cinema. Wu Gang is likeable as the lovelorn hero, while Cui Zongli and Zhuang Min are imposing presences as the black-garbed angels.

Dazzling

China

  • Production: An All for New Film & TV Corp.-Shanghai Film Studio production. (International sales: Fortissimo Film Sales, Hong Kong.) Produced by Sara Chen. Directed by Xin Lee. Screenplay, Xin, Sara Chen.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Huang Lin; editors, Zhai Ru, Weihong Xiao; music, Xiao Ming Zhu, Dou Wei; production designer, Li Shen. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 13, 2002. Running time: 84 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Wu Lala, Xu Jinglei, Mei Ting, Anzi, Li Juan, Wang Xuebin, Cui Zongli, Zhuang Min, Wu Xiaomin.
  • Music By: