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Happy Times (Sous-titres français)

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 47.93
Only 5 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lifan Dong, Benshan Zhao, Jie Dong, Biao Fu, Xuejian Li
  • Directors: Yimou Zhang
  • Writers: Gai Zi, Yan Mo
  • Producers: Edward R. Pressman, Erin O'Rourke, Lizhong Qiao, Ping Zhou, Qinglong Yang
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Chinese
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Dec 3 2002
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00006RCL3
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,396 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

From the director of "Raise the Red Lantern" and "The Road Home," HAPPY TIMES is a charming, heartwarming comedy about the complex dynamics of relationships and the hysterical complexities inherent in making them work. In an attempt to impress a portly divorcée that has caught his eye, an unemployed factory worker poses as the wealthy manager of a non-existent hotel. Hoping that his fabricated success will lead to holy matrimony, he instead finds himself the guardian of the woman's blind stepdaughter. Now, as the lies get more complicated and the deception more difficult to sustain, the sweetyoung blind girl and the crazy middle-aged man find themselves forming an emotional friendship thatis as touching as it is unlikely.

Customer Reviews

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By Howie on July 16 2004
Format: DVD
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I've long been a film buff - my favorite films tend to be artsy and rather pedantic. Because of this, my family generally doesn't like to sit with me and watch movies.
So, when I started "Happy Times" last night, I thought they'd gradually wander off and find something else to do.
But, they were enthralled! This movie is the perfect balancing act between comedy, drama, and the enduring love we feel for those who have touched us in a special way.
This is a great, great movie.
Too many Americans shun foreign films. This is one they shouldn't miss. When the movie ended, my oldest son turned to me and said, "Wow. I think Hollywood has forgotten how to make movies like this!"
American filmmakers seem to think they have to descend to the baser instincts in order to make "adult" movies.
Yet, "Happy Times" - and countless other foreign films - never seem to sink to this level. These films are always excellent.
I think the issue is that Hollywood has forgotten how to write a good story; they've forgotten that basic human values can be enduring, can be entertaining, if only they would jettison their cynical baggage.
"Happy Times" will make you laugh and cry, smile and reflect with pride on the better angels of our nature.
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Format: DVD
Despite the upbeat title, 'Happy Times' depicts anything but...abuse by a stepmother, abandonment by a natural father, massive structural unemployment, a future of limited hope for each of the protagonists.
Through all of this despair, the natural goodness of Benshan Zhao's character (also called "Zhao") shines through. His ruses get more complicated and difficult to sort out, but in the second-half of the film, his growing care and concern for "Little Wu" (skillfully portrayed by Dong Jie) is obvious.
I defy anyone to watch 'Happy Times' without tears streaming down your cheeks by the end. I definitely recommend a rental/purchase, but you may want to pair it with something a bit more upbeat or comedic. This is a heartbreaking movie.
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Format: DVD
I just happened to see this on CBC, and bought the DVD last week. It is worth seeing for the performance of Dong Jie alone -- what a wonderful performance. You will be touched by her expressions and gestures (grabbing the watch or shirt when stressed). The cast were so critical for this "simple" story as they convey a full package of history by portraying complete characters.

I did some research and found out the ending on this version was NOT the original. The original was less dramatic and much shorter - though it looks like the director perferred the one on the DVD.

This is a movie that dances around deception -- the floweres are cut to look like more expensive roses, the large woman treats the girl one way with company and another when just her son is there. It also shows how MOTIVE is key to behaviours and is the difference between angels and wolves.

There is also a theme of what "modern capitalistic" society sees as having no value, and throws away -- so the bus, factory, seniors, and handicapped.

There is far more to this story then is on the surface. I highly recommend it.

THE ENDING - SPOILER

The original ending follows Zhao and "little" Wu walking to work. He finds the factory being demolished, but they continues into the "massage-room" where they sit while he reads her "father's" letter (the one Zhao wrote). As this happens, the camera moves away from them until they are in long shot -- with the room they made, surrounded by machinery taking the building apart with the inevitability that those machines will soon take the room apart too, and the film ends.

Both endings work.
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Format: DVD
Zhang Yimou is always at his best when he is portraying ordinary people facing overwhelming circumstances. Although not an epic film, this movie joins the ranks of "To Live" and "The Story of Qiu Jiu" as yet another supreme example of that genre.
The story surrounds the efforts of a man in his fifties (Zhao) who is desperately trying to get a woman to marry him. The woman, when we meet her, is obviously a caricature-morbidly obese, with an enormous slob of a son. In this pathetic environment, the door opens on a frail, pretty young lady, who obviously doesn't fit the picture, and who, though blind, "sees" better than anyone else what is really important. I was struck by the pathos of her blindness, as she plays it magnificently. But I was even more fascinated with the "blindness" of Zhao, who can't see the forest for the giant Sequoia.
You know what? Forget reviews-you just need to see this movie. From the pathetic opening, to the elaborate ruse of a fake massage parlor that forms the bulk of the story, to the "relationship" that each of Zhao's retired friends forms with this young lady, to her noble response to the deception, which she discovers far before any of them suspect, to the incredible ending... Talking to a playing tape recorder...I never would have thought of it; it's really one of the most unusual endings I have seen.
When it comes right down to it, the whole movie is a caricature, because the storyline is so outlandish that you can never quite believe that something like that would actually happen. Throughout the movie, my most consuming thought was, "How in the sam hill is he going to end this thing?!" Zhang Yimou did not disappoint me.
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