Review by Chris Walts
Good Cats is a difficult film to watch. It is not a film I particularly enjoyed watching while it was playing, and, had I not been reviewing it, I probably would have left the theatre before it was over. Oddly enough however, every time I think back on the film, I begin to like it more to the point where it now feels like a fond memory.
Luo Liang is a soon-to-be-30-year-old, middle school-educated chauffeur trying to make a name for himself in the semi-corrupt Chinese economy. Shot entirely in long master shots, the film refuses to let the audience close to Luo Liang as the action plays out on screen much as if you were watching a stage play. This forced removal is fitting however, as it reflects society’s view of Luo Liang’s status in the world: a purposeful distance/blind eye turned to the plight of the under-educated working class. Director Ying Liang pushes this idea even further by having sudden breaks in action where a rock band appears, similar to a Greek chorus. While all of this purposeful destruction of the audience’s suspension of disbelief makes the film hard to enjoy on an emotional level, it does invite the viewer to look deeper into the film and view it as a social commentary on contemporary Chinese society.
Ying Liang | China | 2008 | 103min
Fri. Sept. 26 | 12:15pm | Empire Granville Theatre 1
Wed. Oct. 1 | 6:00pm | Empire Granville Theatre 5
Mon. Oct. 6 | 4:30pm | Pacific Cinematheque
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