I recently got the chance to watch Fleet of Time with Eddie Peng and Ni Ni and what’s really weird is how much I kept thinking back to the So Young and kept comparing the two movies in my head. These movies still linger in my mind, most likely due to the nostalgic and bittersweet feelings they left behind. This blog post is a result of that and which one is my favorite.
So Young (2013) – starring Mark Chao, Yang Zishan, Han Geng, and Maggie Jiang
Synopsis: In the brink of the 90s, 18-year-old Zheng Wei steps into her university life with a hopeful heart for love. She forms a great friendship with her roommates and united as a group, they embark on their university life together. Wei meets Chen Hao-Zheng in a chance encounter, and despite initial reluctance, Chen accepts Wei as his girlfriend and the two become inseparable. Four years of university life pass and Wei looks forward to establishing a life together with Chen. However, Chen is forced into an impossible decision to leave Wei. Devastated, Wei decides to start afresh. A decade later, Wei’s previous lovers Lin and Chen both find their way back into her life and she has to make a choice of her next step in life.
So Young is Vicki Zhao Wei’s directorial debut starring the fabulous Mark Chao (yes I totally love him! :D) and the Vicki act-a-like (I mean that in a good way!) Yang Zishan as they meet and fall in love during university life. I was really sucked into this by the acting of the fresh faces and amazed by Mark Chao right after watching him starred opposite Vicki in Love. The movie is also adapted from a novel, translated to “To our youth that is fading away”. This starts with life from university to college and after. Yang Zishan really amazed me in here. Her acting was spot on and reminds me so much of Vicki in her earlier roles. Without trying to reveal any spoilers, I’m going to be kind of vague. I find them totally sweet and I adore the supporting cast. I like the tight bond and friendship that the whole group had and how it was portrayed. The last scene is beautiful to me, especially since it was a flashback, but one that was not revealed to the audiences before. It was so bittersweet and touching. I cried and hurt for them.
Fleet of Time (2014) – starring Eddie Peng, Ni Ni, Zheng Kai, Wei Chen, and Zhang Zixuan.
The film is adapted from the popular novel of the same name by Chinese writer Jiu Yehui (???). Its a coming of age tale of a close group of friends as they experience high school, college and eventually adulthood through the 90s and 2000s
Fresh from watching Eddie Peng in Sound of the Desert (which is not done being English subbed yet), I almost couldn’t recognized him when I first watched Fleet of Time. I had to rewatched the opening credits for the cast to really make sure it was him. LOL This movie also start off with their years in university, in college, and afterwards. Most of the events are told through flashbacks. I actually found that just a tad too distracting in here as some of the them created more questions. It was a little shaking with the jumping back and forth. It made it seem like all the characters were just a little too pre-occupied with the past even as a wedding was going on and they all seemed to be successful people. I find Eddie and Ni Ni’s characters in here cute too, but only for a while. Again, without revealing any spoilers, I thought this movie was messy due to the way the story unfolded (with flashbacks). There were two scenes that I thought were very well done and left lasting impressions in my mind. Both were emotional with the 2nd just totally riveting. And yes I cried and hurt for them too.
Characters: I love the casts in So Young more. The group was more engaging, funnier but still stuck together.
Love Story: So Young again. How should I say this without spoiling anything? I can’t… without giving away some details so…
Flow of the story: So Young because it wasn’t told in multiple flashbacks. It was more straightforward so it was less chopping.
Plot: So Young because everyone was way too absorbed in the past in Fleet of Time. The time before and during the wedding was just the past, the past, and the past. Let’s just say I don’t think the marriage will be a lasting one.
Favorite: So Young because I have rewatched this one many times. I enjoyed the interactions and goofiness of all the cast. I like the spunkiness of Zheng Wei (Yang Zishan) and the quietness (but adorable) of Xiaozheng (Mark Chao). While both movies will pop in and out of my head for a long time for nostalgic reasons, I don’t think that I will be rewatching Fleet of Time any time soon.
Have you watched any of these two movies? What did you think? Which one is your favorite? I would love to know.