Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Story Of 90 Coins (2015) Film Review
The Story Of 90 Coins
Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson
The titular 90 coins make nine dollars. The proposition is this: if, after 90 days, the answer is, 'No', then it'll buy two drinks as they part company; if, after 90 days, the answer is, 'Yes', then it'll buy a marriage license.
At a hair over nine minutes, this is an efficient romance, Romantic, even, in that it features moments of beauty considered at leisure, efficiencies of technique and poetry that are evocative and obscure toxic gender norms.
There is a degree of chronological sophistication in this tale of girl meets boy, boy and girl fail to communicate to the point of mutual comprehension, differing expectations result in potential mutual disappointment. Han Dongun and Zhuang Zhiqi's performances are good, covering a range of emotions, but later sequences which rely them to appear upset in the company only of their memories are not as convincing. Bai Xeudan's script relies so heavily on a handful of tropes that rearranging them feels more like brick-laying than bricolage, and while Michael Wong's direction shows good grasp of technique it is perhaps appropriate that a film that relies so heavily on different perceptions of shared memories is so constructed in the edit. That interplay frequently serves to support tone as efficiently as the minimal piano score, and though the voice-over in places feels heavy-handed it is perhaps a consequence of the smaller canvas for the project.
Our couple have standard romance jobs like 'fashion designer' and something involving charts, sufficient disposable income to wield iPhones and Macbooks, young people with prospects involving trips to Paris, the possibility of home ownership. Different aspirations, however, are the root of what passes for conflict.
There's a line about the fear that behaviour might be found nauseating, another that presages a jealousy that will prove problematic, and there's also a sequence that would seem to assume you'll understand that understanding was assumed, but the consequences of that for the relationship and the film are painful. The worst aspect is probably the coda, an exhortation that one hopes is intended to be a word to the wise but feels like hectoring. There are highlights - elements of the production design are neat and the efficiency with which it conjures the worlds of fashion and business is to be commended, with sets as different as charming roadside newsagent kiosks and sleekly sparse briefing rooms well found and used, and in its cast's performances there are doubtless subtleties lost to subtitles. While the film doesn't ask anywhere near as many as 90 days, it does have an expectation that you'll be charmed within its timescale, and sadly that's unlikely.Reviewed on: 06 Sep 2017