Original title: Han ni zai yiki
Duration: 117 mn.
Director: Chen Kaige
Actors: Yun Tang, Liu Peiqi, Hong Chen, Wang Zhiwen, Chen Kaige, Zhang Qing, Kim Hye-ri, Liu Bing,…
Xiaochun (Tang Yun) is a thirteen years old gifted violinist brought up by his hard-working father Cheng (Liu Peiqi) in a chinese small town. In order to provide better music studies to Xiaochun, Cheng takes his son to Beijing, and try to find the right teacher.
He first convinces Professor Jiang (Wang Zhiwen) to take him as a student, but his teaching is influenced by the many distractions such as his squabbling neighbours, the messy apartment and stray cats who he rescues from the streets. Meanwhile, Xiaochun meets his neighbour Lili (Chen Hong), a pretty young woman besotted by rich men and fashion.
Cheng then realizes that success is achieved by power instead of talent and believes that Professor Yu Shifent (Chen Kaige) should tutor his son, and goes about trying to convince him to take his son as a student.
[…] Undoubtedly a bold departure for Kaige – who made his name on grand historical epics such as Farewell My Concubine and Temptress Moon – this is slick, professional but unremittingly safe filmmaking that tick-tocks from scene to scene with the clockwork precision of a metronome.
More populist than classical, Together With You is destined to be a crowd-pleasing drama. Some audiences will surely balk at the mechanical way it manipulates the emotions, though – in the words of Professor Jiang, this is a film in which “every note is in place but there is no feeling”.
“Together,” the new film by Chinese director Chen Kaige (“Farewell, My Concubine”), echoes those old sacrificing-parent melodramas like “Stella Dallas” with a few laughs, some lovely violin music and gentle social commentary thrown in. Chen’s tale of a violin prodigy and his devoted dad pulls the heartstrings on cue, but the movie’s vivid, affecting performances save it from being maudlin.