An inventive film about the making of..a film, RIPPLES OF LIFE is a clever satire, both amusingly humorous and deeply contemplative. From newcomer director/writer Wei Shujun this delightful ode to the absurdity of filmmaking unfolds through a triptych of stories, told from the perspective of three different protagonists, all involved in a film production set in a small town.
The first chapter revolves around Gu, a young restaurateur whose family have been hired to cater for a film production in the small town of Yong’an. The film, ironically, is set in Yong’an and centers around a young restaurateur, bored with her life in the small town. Gu is indeed bored with her life as a new mother, working for her in-laws at the restaurant. When the production asks Gu to stand-in as a model for the lead character, she begins to dream of being a movie star…
Picking up where the first chapter leaves off, the second chapter revolves around the film’s lead actress, movie star Chen Chen who is actually originally from Yong’an. Her nostalgia for the town very soon turns into disillusionment, as her childhood friends have become either bureaucrats who are eager to exploit her fame or men who are trapped in feelings of discontent and envy.
The third and final chapter focuses on the film’s screenwriter, locked into conflict with the director over the film they are trying to make titled Ripples Of Life. As the clock counts down to their shoot, the writer insists on his philosophical vision for the film, while the director pushes back, pleading for a more saleable commercial version.