Cell Phone (film)
Promotional poster for Cell Phone
|Directed by||Feng Xiaogang|
|Produced by||Wang Zhongjun
|Written by||Liu Zhenyun|
|Music by||Su Cong|
|Edited by||Zhou Ying|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures (US)|
|Country||People's Republic of China|
Cell Phone (simplified Chinese: 手机; traditional Chinese: 手機; pinyin: shŏujī) is an award-winning Chinese comedy-drama film directed by Feng Xiaogang and starring Ge You, Zhang Guoli, Xu Fan and Fan Bingbing. It was first released on 18 December 2003 in Mainland China and was subsequently screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival on 18 March 2005. With box office earnings of over ¥50 million, Cell Phone became the best-selling domestic film in 2003.
Written by Liu Zhenyun, based on his own novel of the same title, the film revolves around two successful men whose marriages were wrecked when their wives uncovered their extramarital affairs through traces left in their cell phones. More broadly, the film explores the role of cellphones in interpersonal complex relationships in modern China, where the rapid development in information technology is having huge impacts on the way people communicate.
Yan Shouyi is a TV host who has an affair with Wu Yue (Fan Bingbing), a young and attractive woman working in publishing. Yan diligently erases all text messages and call records between him and Wu on his cellphone before he gets home everyday, in order to avoid detection by his wife Yu Wenjuan (Lu Zhang). One night, after telling Yu that he has a work meeting with Fei Mo (Zhang Guoli), a TV producer and Yan's superior, Yan rendezvous with Wu and switches off his cellphone. Not being able to reach Yan a while later, Yu calls Fei, who has been in the know of Yan's affair.
- Ge You as Yan Shouyi (S: 严守一, T: 嚴守一, P: Yán Shǒuyī), a TV host
- Zhang Guoli as Fei Mo (S: 费 墨, T: 費 墨, P: Fèi Mò), a TV producer, Yan's superior
- Xu Fan as Shen Xue (C: 沈 雪, P: Shěn Xuě), a teacher at an arts academy, Yan's lover after his divorce with his wife
- Fan Bingbing as Wu Yue (C: 武 月, P: Wǔ Yuè), a young attractive woman working in publishing who has an affair with Yan
- Lu Zhang as Yu Wenjuan (S: 于文娟, T: 於文娟, P: Yú Wénjuān), Yan's wife who divorces him when she discovers his affair with Wu
The popularity of Cell Phone among the cinema-goers is evident in its strong box office performance. Having achieved ¥50 million in box office within a month after release (US$6.4 million in total according to Business Week), the film became the best-selling domestic production in 2003. The film also clinched all three top awards at the 2004 Hundred Flowers Awards, which is based on viewer voting. However, it failed to bag any award or even acquire nomination for any of the major awards at the jury-based Golden Rooster Awards in the same year. According to Golden Rooster's leading juror Zhong Chengxiang, albeit being popular among viewers, Cell Phone lacked "class and style". Producer Wang Zhongjun retorted that viewers' approval is of the utmost importance and rejected the Golden Rooster as an award that has "not a single bit of commercial driving force". On the other hand, the official Huabiao Awards gave out an unprecedented special award to Cell Phone for its achievements in "market development", signifying official recognition of the market forces and taste of the masses.
Awards and nominations
- Huabiao Awards, 2004
- Market Development Award
- Best Film (nominated)
- Best New Actress (nominated) — Fan Bingbing
- Golden Rooster Awards, 2004
- Hundred Flowers Awards, 2004