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Cell Phone

Promotional poster for Cell Phone
Directed by Feng Xiaogang
Produced by Wang Zhongjun
Yang Buting
Written by Liu Zhenyun
Starring Ge You
Zhang Guoli
Fan Bingbing
Xu Fan
Music by Su Cong
Cinematography Zhao Fei
Editing by Zhou Ying
Release date(s) 18 December 2003
Running time 107 minutes
Country People's Republic of China
Language Mandarin Chinese

Cell Phone (simplified Chinese: 手机traditional Chinese: 手機pinyin: shŏujī) is an award-winning Chinese comedy-drama film directed by Feng Xiaogang and starring Ge You, Zhang Guoli, Xu Fan and Fan Bingbing. It was first released on 18 December 2003 in Mainland China, and was subsequently screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival on 18 March 2005. With a box office earning of over ¥50 million, Cell Phone became the best-selling domestic film in 2003.[1]

Written by Liu Zhenyun, based on his own novel of the same title, the film revolves around two successful men whose marriages were wrecked when their wives uncovered their extramarital affairs through traces left in their cellphones. More broadly, the film explores the role of cellphones in interpersonal relationships in modern China, where the rapid development in information technology is having huge impacts on the way people communicate.

Contents

Plot

Sensing something amiss, Fei immediately tries to contact the former but to no avail. When Yan finally reaches home, he is confronted by Yu but insists that he has been with Fei. Yu then uses Yan's cellphone to call Fei, who immediately upon answering blurts out his warning that Yu has called him in her effort to contact Yan. Yu subsequently finds a love-bite on Yan's neck, left by Wu. They divorce shortly after.

Months later, during a training program at a local arts academy, Yan meets teacher Shen Xue (Xu Fan) and the two soon fall in love. They move in together and look like they are on their way to marriage. However, at this time, the launching ceremony of Fei's latest book sees Yan and Wu's path crossed again. On the other hand, Fei, who has always advised Yan that affairs are "trouble", is lured into troubles himself when a female fan makes advances on him. The two arrange to rendezvous in a hotel room. Shortly after, Fei's wife finds out and divorces him, even though he maintains that he did go to the hotel but never went up to the room. It will not take long for Shen to uncover Yan's affair as well, and the two eventually split.[2]

Cast

  • Ge You as Yan Shouyi, a TV host
  • Zhang Guoli as Fei Mo, a TV producer, Yan's superior
  • Xu Fan as Shen Xue, a teacher at an arts academy, Yan's lover after his divorce with his wife
  • Fan Bingbing as Wu Yue, a young attractive woman working in publishing who has an affair with Yan
  • Lu Zhang as Yu Wenjuan, Yan's wife who divorces him when she discovers his affair with Wu

Reception

The popularity of Cell Phone among the cinema-goers is evident in its strong box office performance. Having achieved ¥50 million in box office within a month after release (US$6.4 million in total according to Business Week[3]), the film became the best-selling domestic production in 2003.[1] The film also clinched all three top awards at the 2004 Hundred Flowers Awards, which is based on viewer voting. However, it failed to bag any award or even acquire nomination for any of the major awards at the jury-based Golden Rooster Awards in the same year. According to Golden Rooster's leading juror Zhong Chengxiang, albeit being popular among viewers, Cell Phone lacked "class and style".[4] Producer Wang Zhongjun retorted that viewers' approval is of the utmost importance and rejected the Golden Rooster as an award that has "not a single bit of commercial driving force".[5] On the other hand, the official Huabiao Awards gave out an unprecedented special award to Cell Phone for its achievements in "market development", signifying official recognition of the market forces and taste of the masses.

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Awards and nominations

References

External links


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