Flash Movie Review: Not One Less
Within our daily lives, think about the amount of objects we come in contact with, barely giving them a thought. From cell phones to computers to shoes to watches; all are just stuff. I have complained that most things these days are built to be disposable; nothing lasts as long as I remember. An example would be my portable CD player. I have gone through 3 of them in the past year; something breaks and I discard it for a new one. Talk about a movie that gave me a large reality check; who knew a piece of chalk could be so priceless. From the director who brought us Raise the Red Lantern and House of Flying Daggers, Yimou Zhang created a sparse film based on simple emotions. When teacher Gao, played by Enman Gao, had to leave his class for 1 month, the mayor of the small rural village could only get Wei Minzhi, played by Minzhi Wei, to substitute teach the class. Barely out of school herself with no teaching experience, she was told there would be a bonus in pay if she kept the same amount of students in the classroom until the teacher returned. All that was given to her were 30 pieces of chalk, one for each day. The first part of this movie was set at a slow pace, as the students tried to take advantage of teacher Wei. I bet we can all relate to that from our school days. Just on the verge of me questioning my reason to see this DVD, the story really began to unfold. When a student went missing, taking off for the city, Wei was determined to bring him back. Here was where the magic unfolded in this wonderful film; when Wei incorporated the students into her plan, teaching them without really trying. Showing a barren life, simply letting the actors tell the story; this was a moving experience for me. Notice the cast credits at the end of the movie. Mandarin with English subtitles.
3 stars — DVD