Green Tea (2003)

I first became aware of Vicky Zhao when she appeared in the martial arts comedy The Duel [2000] where she worked alongside Nick Cheung, Andy Lau and Ekin Chen. Her enthralling performance in Ann Hui's Goddess of Mercy [2003] showed that she was so much more than a comedienne with a pretty face.

Zhang Yuan's Green Tea is an engaging, esoteric film that allows Ms. Zhao plenty of space to work her magic. Beautifully photographed by now legendary cinematographer Christopher Doyle, director Zhang guides us through the Mainland singles scene with the help of the enigmatic Wu Fang and her most recent blind date Chen, played by Jiang Wen. They don't exactly hit it off on their date, but Chen keeps up the pursuit. Complicating the scenario, but not the production design, Chen also knows another girl who looks exactly like Fang and who may or may not be related to her. This film gets high technical marks, particularly the sound design with enhances the already incredible imagery.

Copyright © 2008 John Crawford. All rights reserved.