20 Again/Chong Fan 20 Sui (Film Review)

Let’s relive the past… or not.

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Characters:

  • Yang Zi Shan as young Meng Li Jun
  • Gui Ya Lei as 70 year old Meng Li Jun
  • Lu Han as Xiang Qian Jin
  • Chen Bolin as Tan Zhi Ming
  • Wang De Shun as Li Dai Hai
  • Zhao Li Xin as Xiang Guo Bin
  • Li Yi Juan as Yang Qin
  • Yin Hang as Xiang Xin Ran

Details:

  • Chinese/Mainland/Taiwanese/South Korean
  • Release date: January 8, 2015
  • Running time: 131 minutes
  • Language: Chinese

Quick Rundown:

Billed as the sister piece to Miss Granny, 2014 Korean film with a similar plot, 20 Again is about seventy year old grandma Meng Li Jun who gets another shot at being young again after taking a photo at a mysterious shop. With a new hot suitor at her feet and a promising career as the lead singer of a hip band, will she want to go back to being “grandma”? Or will she take this as an opportunity to relive life?

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Estelle’s Take

To be completely honest, I read a quick review before I went into this movie. The review said it wasn’t that good which may or may not have colored my perception as I watched the movie. I had a lot of hope for this piece because it sounded like a ball of fun. I also thought it was going to tell a more cohesive story that is framed around love and family. I had plenty of expectations, thinking that it will have elements of nostalgia combined with melancholy but alas, I got none of it.

What I did get was a story that didn’t really make sense to me. I mean I do understand what transpired, but it left me questioning what was the purpose of the film and what message did it want to offer. I didn’t connect with any of the characters so needless to say I didn’t particularly care for any of them. Their portrayal was flat and on a whole just not inspired. There was much running around and busyness on screen, but none of that culminated into anything.

Overall this movie is a definite disappointment for me, perhaps because I read that poor review, or maybe because I thought it would be much more than what it really was. If I had watched it with a less invested mindset I might’ve enjoyed it a bit more. I mean it is a super silly piece and is probably entertaining if you aren’t trying to dig deeper like I was. Give it a shot if you want, but don’t expect too much in return.

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This & That:

  • Yang Zi Shan was recently in Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal as Chen Kun’s character’s younger sister. She is currently dating Taiwanese director, Matt Wu/Wu Chung Tien.
  • Gui Ya Lei has won the Golden Horse Awards four times and the Golden Bell Awards two times among others. Her most recent award was for her role in The Knot/Yun Shui Yao with Chen Kun (it’s him again!).
  • Lu Han was formerly part of the South Korean boy band EXO, scouted by an agent in Myungdeong while he was studying in Seoul. In October 2014, he filed a lawsuit to terminate his contract with SM Entertainment. He is also the Guinness record holder for “Most Comments on a Weibo Post.”
  • Chen Bolin was in TV series In Time With You with Ariel Lin. He signed with BM+ Entertainment this year, making his advances in Korea official.

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4 thoughts on “20 Again/Chong Fan 20 Sui (Film Review)

    • Ok you are right, I should give due credit to her for her acting, but I guess the whole plot – or lack of – really distracted me from enjoying it. Like I said, maybe I thought too much about it and expected more than it was meant to give.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Maybe it was trying to be a ‘family-oriented’ movie, which they kinda got that point across, but it didn’t really feel that deep. Guess it was still enjoyable, I didn’t have a lot of expectations too.

    Like

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