The dimensional setup of the film is both based on a culturally shared and a deep personal love story. The author explores how Beijing’s architectural structures have been symbolized in the film. He asserts the film setting lacks neither of the grand vistas of Beijing nor its landmarks. Instead, it is mostly set in enclosed courtyards and opera houses sprinkled with occasional glimpses of an ancient wall or an old alley (Breaster).
The film features the friendship of two opera apprentices, Douzi, and Shitou as they grow up to become famous actors. The two characters, cheng dieyi and duan xialou, face shared hardships as their training is strict and dieyi has to act women’s role again and again which is against his will but still the two became determined to be successful lead actors. In the film, this has been used to create a theme of gender identity and sexuality (Breaster).
The review talks of how the film depicted personal memories of Chen Kaige, the film director. From his testimony, the film allowed him to come back to Beijing and come terms with his experiences as he grew up. According to Chen, Beijing’s opera houses are associated with his memories and wonders. The director identifies Lar a fortress in xiangshan among other places in Beijing used in the film where he felt an unknown force taking hold of him as he described it. The review talks of how Chan’s experience within the year 1966 to 1978 played a crucial role in his career (Breaster).
The film addresses memories of trauma in the lives of the characters in the play as the early lives of the two boys depict a lot of emotional and traumatic scenes like the scene involving the chopping off of Douzi’s sixth finger by her mother and the bruising of Shitou’s forehead as well as Dieyi’s suicide (Breaster). According to the author, the film not only pays homage to recent Beijing cinema but also alludes