Di Yi Lu Xiang
2020 / 144m - China
Love After Love poster


January 31, 2022


Ann Hui's latest romantic epic turned out to be a bit of a snoozefest. And she has nobody to blame but herself, as the budget was clearly there. The cinematography is extremely polished, the score is refined, and the cast is filled to the brim with big names. And yet, the film completely loses steam during the second half.

Weilong is a young girl who travels from Shanghai to Hong Kong to get a better upbringing. She goes to live with her aunt, but when she falls for the charms of Qiqiao her future is jeopardized. Qiqiao isn't very loyal and loves to sleep around, Weilong is madly in love though, and she is willing to give up her own happiness to marry him.

Hui is very much a narrator, not so much a director. While the film looks very slick and polished, it lacks emotion and the romance nor the drama ever blossoms. That is rather problematic for a 2.5-hour film. The runtime is excessive, the characters feel flat and the ending really started to drag. It's a shame, as the potential for something better was clearly present.