Share this @internewscast.com


This interminable anthology film about the pandemic feels like being force-fed lectures on altruism, family responsibility, self-sacrifice and neighbourly forbearance by the Chinese government (which produced it). Set almost entirely in Wuhan – Covid ground zero – it’s handsomely photographed, making the emptied-out city look drowned and dystopian. But its five mawkish segments contain hardly any worthwhile drama and the whole comes over as more of a public information film than anything else.

First up in its parade of paragons is Shanghai banker Nanfeng (Fang Yin), who has come to Wuhan to propose to ex-girlfriend Xiaoyu (Dongyu Zhou). But she is in isolation in hospital, so he promises to look after her mother who is in intensive care across the city. In the second story, another government gold star goes to two migrant deliverymen who help a child ferry her sick grandma to hospital. Meanwhile, government official Wang (Jingchun Wang) has to brush up on his diplomacy when tower-block dweller Xiaomai (The Wandering Earth’s Jingmai Zhao) irks the neighbours with her piano-playing. Back on the wards, two exhausted medical staff struggle to hold their family together as they try to save a colleague’s life. And, across town, apartment-bound youngster Le Le (Hangcheng Zhang) is bouncing off the walls, possibly due to the all-instant noodle diet his dad is feeding him.

This last strand at least has a little humour and spark to it, even if it winds up in pat homilies to Nezha, a protection deity of Chinese folklore. Elsewhere, the film falls prey to the worst impulses of the urban-interconnection film, all smeary platitudes instead of focused drama. It’s a kind of Covid-themed Crash, in which no personal tragedy cannot be treated with the infusion of some milkily sentimental ballad on the soundtrack. You’d never know it was credited to five different directors, so anodyne is the prevailing aesthetic (unlike the recent Battle at Lake Changjin, whose three directors clearly stood out). The addiction of China’s state film bodies to this sort of didactic bilge is the real issue here.

Ode to the Spring is in cinemas from 8 July.

Share this @internewscast.com
You May Also Like

Blood cancer symptoms may appear in your bedsheets – night sweats could be a sign

Lymphomas sadly affect roughly 2,100 more people every year in the UK.…

Vaccine could ward off lyme disease to help the thousands of Britons

A vaccine designed to protect against Lyme disease is being trialled and,…

Heart disease signs in the legs and arms include ‘coldness’ if blood vessels are narrowed

“If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment to see…

William Shatner shares the exercise routine that ‘gets him out of bed’ at age 91

The actor, who is best known for his portrayal of James T.…

Grapes May Be the #1 Fruit for a Longer Life, Says New Study

The next time you’re craving some fresh fruit, you might want to…

Treatment for blood sugar includes adding oolong tea to your diet

What happens if glucose levels fall too low? In the same way…

Over 5,700 cases of Capri Sun juice pouches recalled due to possible cleaning solution contamination

More than 5,700 cases of Capri Sun’s wild cherry flavored juice pouches are…

A scientist in the public eye has taken her own life. This has to be a wake-up call | Devi Sridhar

Lisa-Maria Kellermayr, an Austrian GP, was a doctor who dedicated her life…