Somewhere in Shanghai, a young woman has an illness. She won't live much longer, and the clock is ticking. She wishes time would stop so she can enjoy more of her limited days with sister and father.
Elsewhere in Shanghai, a business man has arrived from Japan. Depressed and hopeless, his life has stopped cold, even though he is physically alive. He wishes time would start again so he can find meaning in his days ahead.
Inevitably, those 2 cross fate in Shanghai, and they compliment each other. The man finds meaning in life after all, and the woman's last days are filled with joy to last through eternity.
All this is fairly formulaic of course, but it's not without some nice moments. There is a scene when a Japanese manager points ahead and says "where those skyscrapers are, they used to be wild fields." Then they drive through more wild fields, and one cannot help but feel their numbered existence. How long before all the little fields are crushed by modern arrangements? It may not be the movie's central theme, but I found it worth pondering.
In the same scene, the manager and the business man (our depressed protagonist) drive through an area with trees on the side. We only see the lower part of the trees, which appears as lifeless and colorless as the business man. At the end, after his transformation, he returns to the street, and the trees are light green, the road ahead looking bright.
The only major problem with this movie experience on the current DVD is that half of the dialogue is in English, spoken badly by Asian actors, and there is no Subtitle in these scenes. Another shortcoming that I found in this 2 hour movie is that there are only 4 or 5 somewhat major characters. It gets a bit repetitive when they're in every scene, and the movie's second half completely focuses on one relationship.
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