Original title: “The Mistake by the River” “There is no standard answer” is the only answer
When the lights in the cinema came on, the audience did not leave their seats immediately. Some were reminiscing about the plot, some were meditating on who the murderer was, and some looked confused and said “I don’t understand.” This movie is “The Mistake on the River.”
Before it was released, the movie had become a hot search topic, arousing heated discussions among netizens and polarizing reputation. However, at the box office, this suspenseful crime film with a cost of only 30 million yuan has achieved good results. As of October 30, the box office exceeded 200 million yuan, with a score of 9 on Taopiao Piao and a 7.5 on Douban. Good reviews.
The film is adapted from the novel of the same name by writer Yu Hua. The plot revolves around a series of bizarre murders that occurred in a small southern town. The criminal police captain Ma Zhe went from resolutely searching for the real murderer to being shaken when his inner order was broken, until he faced the evidence and committed suicide. The state of collapse changed, and he gradually fell into absurd and unreal memories that could not be distinguished from reality.
“Man cannot understand destiny, so I pretend to be destiny and put on the stupid and incomprehensible faces of the gods.” The beginning of the film quotes this sentence from the work “Caligula” by French philosopher Albert Camus, which is both the title and the tone for the entire film.
At the beginning of the plot, the fourth mother-in-law who was chasing geese by the river was hacked to death with a hatchet. This case made the local people panic, and the criminal police captain Ma Zhe began to investigate the truth of the case. After that, relevant suspects surfaced one by one: Qian Ling, a young female accountant from the factory, Wang Hong, a married teacher, Xu Liang, a hairdresser, and Madam Yaosi’s adopted son. These characters are all related to the “riverside”. Grandma Yaosi often puts geese by the river, Qian Ling and Wang Hong have a private meeting in an abandoned building by the river, Xu Liang wears a “big wave” shaped wig and a long The skirt is walking by the river, and the madman is washing clothes by the river. As he dug for clues, Ma Zhe did not completely solve the mystery, but discovered unknown secrets – the masochistic tendencies of the deceased Yaosi’s mother-in-law, the immoral love between Qian Ling and Wang Hong, and Xu Liang’s “Transvestite”. Without comment, these actions were labeled “wrong.”
Among the above-mentioned key figures, the second deceased was Wang Hong, who was killed by a knife like Yaosi Granny and abandoned his body by the river; the third deceased was a little boy who was an eyewitness to Yaosi Granny’s body. , the murder weapon was a brick; the fourth deceased was Xu Liang.
After these cases occurred, clues pointed to the madman, who was considered the murderer and was sent to a mental hospital, where he later escaped.
However, Xu Liang’s death caused Ma Zhe to gradually fall into a state of mental breakdown and cast doubt on his own investigation techniques and cognitive methods. After Xu Liang sent a banner with the words “Heal the wounded and rescue the dying” to Ma Zhe, he chose to commit suicide to achieve “relief” and “revenge” and jumped from the upstairs to the roof of Ma Zhe’s car.
Although there are pointed scenes in the film, in Ma Zhe’s heart, everything went too smoothly and was a little abnormal. The madman has become his inner demon.
Still by the river where the murder occurred, Ma Zhe took off his coat and prepared to “obliterate” his body in the depths of the river, but the madman stood on the bank and put on his coat. Ma Zhe walked towards the shore and hit it hard with stones. At the end of the story, Ma Zhe was awarded the honor of third class merit. The close-up shot was focused on the face and actions of his newborn son: he placed the toy on the towel, and his expression matched what the doctor in the film said was “10% of destiny” – —Intellectual disability.
What are the meanings of riverside and error in “The Mistake by the River”? This “riverside” is like “destiny”, playing the role of a spectator; the “mistake” is the unknown secret of the characters in the film at the moment. Regarding the understanding of the theme of the story, as the writer Yu Hua said at the film premiere: “Everyone has an answer in their heart.”
After the movie was released, the audience’s opinions were polarized. Some people thought it was a brain-burning blockbuster and an artistic masterpiece, while others thought the plot was confusing and difficult to understand. If you watch it in conjunction with the original work, you will find that some of the plot settings in the movie can be followed.
The original work “The Mistake by the River” is a novella by Yu Hua and one of his series of pioneering experiments. It was completed in May 1987 and first published in the first issue of “Zhongshan” in 1988. As early as the 1990s, two directors, Zhang Yimou and Lu Xiaoya, purchased the copyright to remake it into a movie. However, due to the difficulty of adapting, the remake was not successful. More than thirty years later, a movie of the same name was born, directed by young director Wei Shujun and partnered with Kang Chunlei (the “crazy” character in the film) to complete the script.
Of course, there are some differences between the novel and the movie. In terms of character setting, the movie spent a certain amount of time creating the characters of Qian Ling, Ma Zhe’s wife Bai Jie, the director, Xu Liang, etc. For example, Bai Jie likes children, even though the doctor told her that the child in her belly has a 10% chance of becoming intelligent. Despite the flaws, she still had to insist on being born. In terms of the murderer’s direction, the novel points to the murderer more clearly, pointing directly at the madman. In the movie, it seems that the murderer is a madman, but in fact he is controlled by the “invisible hand” of the screenwriter. In terms of the presentation of plots such as the morbid relationship between the fourth mother-in-law and the madman, and how Ma Zhe became crazy, the novel is very naked, and the film has adapted it to a greater extent, using techniques such as picture composition, montage, imagery, and the relationship between sound and picture to give the audience greater interest. imagination.
In Ma Zhe’s dream, Grandma Yaosi handed the whip to the madman, leaned over and let him whip her, and sighed, “It’s a pity that I can only die once.” For the audience, this is not easy to understand. However, there are two passages in the original work – “He is so old, he still needs to suck milk. I didn’t want him to beat me, but later I had no choice but to let him suck me a few times.” “When he beat me, he was like me. My husband is exactly the same, so cruel.” However, when she said this, her face was filled with happiness. Seeing this, the audience may be able to understand details such as the behavior of the fourth mother-in-law in the film and the whip marks on the ceiling of her home – it turns out that she has a masochistic tendency, and death may be a destination.
This movie brings emotions to the audience about fate and how to live. The characters in the novel and the film each have their own way of living, but they have to compromise with reality. This reminds me of what writer Cai Chongda said in “Destiny”: “No matter how bad a way of life is, it is still a way of life. Water has its own waterway, and mountains have its own mountain road. No one is the right way, and no kind of life is the right way.” Dharma can be directly defined in terms of good or bad.”
Ma Zhe’s rough-and-tumble look in the film is reminiscent of Zhu Yilong’s image of Mo Sanmei in “Life Events”. The mortician wearing a floral shirt, with a buzzcut and stubble, and speaking Wuhan dialect subverts his past. The external label of being majestic and handsome, such as the “young master” Qi Heng in the TV series “Do you know whether you should be green, fat, red and thin”, Liancheng Bi in “Xin Xiao Shi Yi Lang”, and “Zhenhun” Shen Wei et al. The movie “She Disappeared”, released in June this year, continues to change the outside world’s perception of Zhu Yilong – he is fully able to devote himself to the role and give the character soul. In “The Mistake by the River”, Zhu Yilong’s performance is once again eye-catching. His stooped body, dark yellow skin, and prominent dark circles under his eyes match the professional identity of the captain.
Therefore, “Life Events”, “She Disappeared” and “Mistake by the River” are called his “Rough Man Trilogy” by netizens. Through these three works, Zhu Yilong escaped from the doubts of “Can he act well?” and gained recognition from more audiences.
After transitioning to the big screen, Zhu Yilong did not passively accept the content of the script, but was good at making preparations in advance. In “The Mistake by the River”, in order to show the texture of the era and accurately grasp the character’s state, he went to a mental hospital to understand the character’s psychology, and even walked around the county town wearing costumes from the 1990s every day to experience the sense of generation difference. Regarding the final performance effect, Yu Hua gave Zhu Yilong a “high score”: “Zhu Yilong controlled his emotions very well from beginning to end and acted very well. In the performing arts, there are two types. Some people think about how to stay popular for a long time. , Zhu Yilong is thinking about how to go far.”
In the play, he is Mo Sanmei, Ma Zhe, and countless other characters. Offscreen, he is a dreamer with movie dreams – “I want to leave a name in the history of Chinese films.”Return to Sohu to see more