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Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Zhao Benshan
Dong Jie
Fu Biao
Li Xuejian
Niu Ben.
Directors
Zhang Yimou.
Screenwriters
Running Time
96 minutes

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Happy Times Hotel


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Plot
Desperate to get married, Old Zhao pretends he’s the manager of a hotel and agrees to give his girlfriend’s blind stepdaughter a job there, as a masseuse. Soon, all of his friends are working around the clock to keep his cleverly executed scam up and running.


Review
When British audiences approach a new Zhang Yimou film, they expect it to be a) set in the past, b) set in the countryside and c) have a tragic end — just like Red Sorghum, Raise The Red Lantern, Ju Dou, To Live etc.. So what are we to make of Happy Times — a contemporary urban comedy?


Desperate to get married, Old Zhao pretends he’s the manager of a hotel and agrees to give his girlfriend’s blind stepdaughter a job there, as a masseuse.


Soon, all of his friends are working around the clock to keep his cleverly executed scam up and running. Warm-hearted and truly touching, Happy Times proves that Zhang is quite comfortable in unfamiliar territory. If only the same could have been said of Chinese compatriot Chen Kaige when he signed on for Killing Me Softly…




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