Yang Mi’s successful transformation? This is an immature realist film

1905 movie network feature If you give birth to a child with a serious birth defect,Will you choose to save or not to save?

The movie puts us in such a dilemma and moral confusion, and Mr. Xu, played by Guo Jingfei, and Jiang Meng, played by Yang Mi, are decisively on the opposite side.

Mr. Xu’s daughter was suffering from anorectal disease, and he chose not to save her in the pain. When he confronted Jiang Meng head-on, he repeatedly questioned, "What about the future?"

In his opinion, even if the child survives, he will continue to grow up in this unjust world and suffer from the pain of not being understood.

Jiang Meng, a 19-year-old girl with congenital defects, was abandoned by her biological parents after birth, and finally survived healthily with the help of a welfare home and a foster family.

She was also an abandoned child with a defective disease. Her strong empathy and compassion drove Jiang Meng to rescue the child. She became stubborn and even broke into the hospital to steal the child.

In her eyes, she was this abandoned child, the common unity of fate. Since she survived, this child must also strive to survive.

So who really has the right to decide whether a child lives or dies? 

At the film’s premiere at the Pingyao Film Festival, Yang Mi said, "No one can define the happiness of others, and no one can control their lives."

Similarly, the film only shows this phenomenon without polish. In the gap where Guo Jingfei and Yang Mi cannot understand each other, they do not judge the choices of the two sides, and throw contradictions and difficulties to the audience without providing any answers.

Liu Jie’s films are often based on social news events, and the creative process of the script is also a process of social investigation.

"Baby" was inspired by Liu Jie’s friend, who gave birth to a child with cerebral palsy.The couple needs to decide within three days whether to let him liveAfter struggling and thinking day and night, he finally decided to save the child and give up the superior city life, taking the child to live in the suburbs.

Another source of creation is the director’s several visits to the orphanage, where he finally discovered that there were more than 1,200 disabled abandoned babies in foster care in two villages outside Beijing.

In 2012, our country officially said that the total incidence of birth defects in China was about 5.6%. Liu Jie, the director, said, "When I learned that the birth defect rate is 5.6 percent, which means that nearly 1 million children with birth defects are born every year, and 30 percent of them will die, 40 percent will be disabled for life, and 30 percent will survive, it also motivated me to make this film. I don’t know who to blame, I can only make it as it is."

Although Liu Jie has directed such commercial films, realistic literary films are the main axis of his work sequence.From "Baby", the entanglement of law and reason is also his consistent theme of expression.

In addition to the plot line of Jiang Meng’s rescue of the disabled baby, "Baby" also shows the relationship and fate between Jiang Meng and the foster caregiver.

Foster care is not adoption, and there is no relationship between guardianship and guardianship. The law stipulates that abandoned babies in foster care need to leave the foster family when they reach adulthood at the age of 18. But Jiang Meng did not want to leave her elderly adoptive mother who was alone, nor did she want her to live in a nursing home, so she fell into another paradox and dilemma of law and love.

The realism of "Baby" has both neutral humanitarian spirit and realistic aesthetic style.

The film narrates the story from a calm and alienated objective perspective. The camera always surrounds and follows Jiang Meng, and reality is gradually constructed and perceived from what she sees and hears.

The use of long-lens hand-held shaking in the natural scene and the use of emotional soundtracks are reduced. This documentary audio-visual style can be seen in the films of the Dane brothers, in the films of Farhati, and in a series of Romanian New Wave works.

This shooting style is also an actor-centered aesthetic, and its greatest advantage is that it frees up the actor’s performance space, allowing the camera to improvise in a real environment and capture more realistic performances.

From the very first shot, we saw a completely different Yang Mi, her hair is messy, her face is full of freckles, her face is gray and weak, not only subverting the image, but also challenging her to speak Nanjing dialect in the play.

Yang Mi’s all-out experiential performance method, just like Gong Li, Zhao Wei and Ma Yili,This really allows her to fit into the context of the story well, and as much as possible to fade away the audience’s established impression of her.

But throughout the film, she always frowned, showing a hesitant and confused expression, with relatively simple emotional changes.

Compared with Li Hongqi, who played the mute army, his rich body language and facial expressions stole a lot of the limelight, but there were also some problems of using too much force.

On the contrary, Guo Jingfei did it properly.The director asked him to try to find the feeling of "three days and three nights without sleep", and he also deduced a measured sense of decadence from this character state.

The film lost more points due to the thinness of the script and the imperfection of the character design.

The dramatic conflict of the film is inseparable from the confrontation between the protagonist and the three forces of personal inner, external opponents and social environment.

We can see Jiang Meng’s persistence and stubbornness, but we cannot see the undercurrent in her heart; we can see her and her adoptive mother’s estrangement, unable to penetrate into their more intimate and complex emotional relationship; we can see Xiaojun’s confession and love for Jiang Meng, but fail to know Jiang Meng’s true attitude towards him.

Yang Mi revealed at the premiere that Jiang Meng’s character is not only physically disabled, but also mentally ill. But the movie did not clearly explain and write, which caused the audience to have some damage to the actor’s performance and the overall cognition of the role.

Although maintaining an objective distance and starting the whole narrative from Jiang Meng’s perspective, the film will inevitably be criticized for being biased towards Jiang Meng’s position choice.

Even if there is a scene of social children’s groups splashing paint on Guo Jingfei’s house, the handling is only a brief taste, and the controversial discussion of abandoned babies is not comprehensive.

Obviously, "Baby" is still a long way from a more mature and in-depth realist film, but the film’s attention to the living conditions of social abandonment groups and the disabled is sure to attract some public attention.

Isn’t that the greatest significance of this film’s existence?

Finally, just as the director Liu Jie wished, "I hope this group of people can live happily in the sun in the future."