Cohen Media Group | Release Date: March 15, 2019
7.1
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 27 Ratings
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23
Mixed:
1
Negative:
3
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DlrlmJul 19, 2019
Why do these movies get such great reviews? The ending sucked just like most films.
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7
GinaKMar 25, 2019
If you don’t like “art house movies” (I mean early Ingmar Bergman films and not low-level porn), stay away from this movie. I rather liked it, as you can see by my numerical rating, but after the first third or so, which is about gangsters,If you don’t like “art house movies” (I mean early Ingmar Bergman films and not low-level porn), stay away from this movie. I rather liked it, as you can see by my numerical rating, but after the first third or so, which is about gangsters, you start on a long train ride through central China where the scenery is colorless and the company is not especially interesting. Someone seems to take a job studying UFOs and there is some successful acupuncture later on (maybe), but that’s about it for excitement. I once sent a cousin of mine to an early Bergman film, and she is still not speaking to me, so be warned. Expand
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2
hnestlyontheslyOct 7, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Ash is Purest White takes an excellent thirty minute drama and stretches it past the bounds of good taste and believability into an epic saga that tests the patience of polite indie theater goers. I am fairly sure that this is supposed to be a dark comedy, but the points when we would laugh in any other film sort of don’t work, because the tone is so unclear–thinking of scenes like the funeral tableau for the crime boss early on, with the ailing mother and the earnest and flamboyant ballroom dancers honoring their coach. The film careens into absurdity with the part in the desert toward the end.

The story does not tumble spontaneously like a rollicking epic so much as it grinds out its seismically slow plot with no apparent interest in story development. Crimes lead to jail time lead to weirdly edited water-bucket chores to a potentially excellent search and confrontation scene and sort of unravels again after the hotel room and a burning newspaper.

If it weren’t for the fact that Friend of Wife says that the director, Zhangke Jia, is married to the star Tao Zhao, I’d say that I don’t really understand how any of this came together at all, but vanity projects are unfortunately alive and well in this country too, for good and for ill.

I maintain that the trailer to this film is one of the slyest misdirections I have ever witnessed. The trailer and online summaries of the film abruptly cut off at around the 30 min mark of the actual movie, and at the time of viewing Friend of Wife had found that some of (few) lukewarm to negative reviews talk about the sudden shift in story at this point, the grueling six-week long run-time, and the lack of character arcs.

Ash flirts with the supernatural without much (any) preparation. There’s a weird amount of product placement from the egregious use of apps to the unncessary proliferation of flashy phones. The love story is a false choice between an emotional recluse and a conman. The only Christian figure in the whole story turns out to be a liar and a cheat. Probably not worth your time by this point unless you’ve been waiting for a Chinese sequel to Boyhood.
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7
amheretojudgeOct 2, 2019
You are looking for a reason, a past life, a missing blank and then you realise, "This is a love story".

Ash Is Purest White The writer and director Zhangke Jia is a, if I may, a sadistic person when it comes to portray love in cinema. And
You are looking for a reason, a past life, a missing blank and then you realise, "This is a love story".

Ash Is Purest White

The writer and director Zhangke Jia is a, if I may, a sadistic person when it comes to portray love in cinema. And there's nothing wrong with that. You can see the result here. It is just, personally I feel sobered up when I start jumping on this train. Now, this is not just any "sober"-ness that he offers us. It is a post hangover, too many cups of coffee, sober. What it sums up too, is an experience. An experience of a lifetime? Sure, why not. For if the writing and direction of the film is pretty standard. What Jia has achieved in this passionate project of his, is something I haven't seen before.

And maybe, I will remember it years later, for its originality. Or just freshness, in my life. Over the two hours in our world, and more than 15 years in the character's world, Jia defines love. Now, there have been so many filmmakers, storytellers, philosophers and whatnots that had tried to conjure the essence of what love is. Where some has been so theoretical and meticulous and a bit math about their love, some has been awfully blunt in their grammar.

And maybe this one comes in later or maybe in both of them. Jia describes it disproportionately. The writers, before him, have gone through enormous lengths to justify it, balance it and share it as much as they could. And even if this one shares its share inadvertently, it is also never called upon. This leaves a hollow space in your head. You are numb for the rest of the day when you get in contact with this. Ash Is Purest White, it concludes, pretty early on, and by the last bell is rung, you'd wish for some, some filter in their voices.
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