Box office word of mouth hit continuously, did Zhou Dongyu encounter a water reversal?
Looking at Zhou Dongyu's past resume, you will find that most of the roles she has played are roles with strong pain. And most of the pain of the characters comes from love and youth.
Author|Charles, Editor|Lone Pigeon
In less than a month, Zhou Dongyu suffered two "defeats" in succession.
The two films starring her did not meet expectations in word of mouth and box office. "Burning Winter" released on August 22, Douban 6.1 points, box office only 26.033 million yuan; "Parrot Killing" released on September 15, Douban 6.2 points, the box office is currently 48.316 million yuan.
Such achievements are completely incomparable with Zhou Dongyu's past works. As a "10 billion film queen", she starred in "Later Us" and "Young You", which cut 1.361 billion yuan and 1.558 billion yuan at the box office respectively. As a result, rumors are everywhere, and some people question: Zhou Dongyu can't carry the box office?
"Burning Winter" and "Parrot Kill" word of mouth
Some people combed through her works and found that her characters were seriously homogeneous, all had a sense of youthful pain, and were always repeating themselves.
For this kind of questioning, Zhou Dongyu is no stranger. During the release of the movie "Love of the Hawthorn Tree", she once experienced a casting storm and was not favored; When he switched to the small screen and starred in dramas such as "Sparrow" and "Ancient Jue Dust", he also encountered complaints. But in the end, she survived and proved herself with strength and works.
To be fair, as the youngest "Three Golden Shadow Queens" (Golden Horse, Golden Statue, Golden Rooster) in the history of Chinese cinema, the audience does have different expectations for Zhou Dongyu. Perhaps, it is precisely because the greater the expectation, when the highlight moment cannot be continued, there is controversy.
Her emotions are a sharp sword
In the early years, when it came to Zhou Dongyu, people most often said "aura". This is a very false word, unexplainable and unclear, but it just represents the talent quality that an actor needs the most.
The most typical portrayal is probably her appearance in "Hawthorn Tree Love", she plays the unworldly Jing Qiu, cowardly and shy. When filming the scene where Dou Xiao kissed her on the cheek, the scene stagnated several times, just because she was cramped and could not overcome the psychological barrier. Finally changed to intimate sideburns hair, she half-dodged and half-stopped, and her youthful appearance filled the camera.
Later, Zhang Yimou gave Zhou Dongyu's performance a special name of "arbitrary flow", saying that she filmed a scene for three minutes, and only three seconds could be used, but these three seconds were particularly aura.
A still from "Hawthorn Tree Love"
Coincidentally, Zhou Xun, who is also the "Three Golden Shadow Queen", also has a spiritual energy on his body. Many people therefore refer to Zhou Dongyu as "Little Zhou Xun". But upon closer examination, their aura is different. "Qianjiang Evening News" once asked when interviewing executive producer Xu Yuezhen ("July and Ansheng"): Some people say that Zhou Dongyu is Zhou Xun's successor, what do you think? Xu Yuezhen felt that they were "very different", she said that Zhou Xun was more fragile and delicate, but Zhou Dongyu had a kind of unwillingness and stubbornness, maybe she had a rebellious child in her body.
Later, as Zhou Dongyu's acting skills became more proficient, this aura became a more perceptible thing - emotions. She and her characters always have an emotional commonality, and she is very good at using body language to mobilize the emotions of the characters and convey them to the audience.
In reality, she is a ghostly person. Even standing on the grand Golden Horse Award podium, her speech was funny and sincere: "No one in our family is making movies, I think it is particularly glorious and shining, really." "This kind of ghost horse character is projected in film and television, and it is condensed into one word - true.
Looking at her works, you will find that she has no idol baggage, dares to laugh, dare to cry, dare to play ugly, whether it is killing Matt costume or shaving her head, she doesn't care. She is willing to sacrifice appearance in exchange for truth and beauty.
played the role of the girl who killed Matt in "Heart Flower Road Fang"
Because of this liberating nature of performance consciousness, the emotions revealed by her characters are also straight to the heart. That kind of natural bittersweet and sad can quickly wrap the audience and make the audience firmly believe in the authenticity of the character.
In "July and Ansheng", she played An Sheng, facing July's death notice, An Sheng cried until she convulsed but did not dare to raise her head. She glanced at the death notice and subconsciously avoided her eyes. She used this dodge to cleverly bring out two messages: one is to escape, she is unwilling to accept the news of her friend's death; The second is remorse, regret for the debt owed between those sisters, she can no longer repay.
But then, she collected her emotions, nodded, and signed the notice. Because of the sisters' last stop, she had to accompany each other to the end with dignity. In this way, the eyes drive the emotions, the emotions show the heart, Zhou Dongyu explained An Sheng's psychological process after seeing the notice, and cut through the emotional bonds between the sisters who want to talk and rest.
In "July and Ansheng", Ansheng collected his emotions
And in this "Parrot Kill", she showed her acting skills at the beginning. White-collar Zhou Ran was deceived by 550,000 yuan, accidentally "poked in the center nest" by her family, she raised her head, took a deep breath, held back the tears that were about to flow, and the action was done in one go, accurately and delicately grasping the collapse of the character's life and emotions.
No wonder, even Hao Lei, who has always been stingy with praise, once praised her, "Zhou Dongyu, this child always touches me very much, and her sincerity is rare." ”
Success also hurts, defeat also hurts
Zhou Dongyu is the kind of actor who "enters the play quickly and breaks out strongly", and the roles she plays often have strong explosive power. In "The Love of Hawthorn Tree", Jing Qiu just began to dodge greenly, and it was not until the third year was running out that she began to face her emotions; In "Young You", Chen Nian encountered school bullying, and at first he was tolerant, until he couldn't bear it anymore and confronted Wei Lai head-on.
Their emotions are like a ticking time bomb, even if they are restrained and forbearing, they will eventually explode. What drives these emotions is the pain of the characters. Looking at Zhou Dongyu's past resume, you will find that most of the roles she has played are roles with strong pain. And most of the pain of the characters comes from love and youth.
Whether it is the previous "Hawthorn Tree Love", "July and Ansheng", "Young You", or the current "Burning Winter", "Parrot Killing", and the upcoming "Flame on the Plain", they can't escape a similar pain frame.
A still from "Young You"
So some audiences believe that Zhou Dongyu's role has serious self-repetition, no matter whether the role she plays is young or rebellious, they have to fall in love, experience growing pains, and find themselves again.
This skepticism peaked during the release of "Burning Winter" and "Parrot Kill". Although they are different themes, the two movies have two similarities: first, they both involve "threesomes", and the heroines are ambiguously pulled with two men; The second is that the heroines in the film have experienced a painful history, Nana in "Burning Winter" was originally a figure skater, her dreams were shattered after being injured, and Zhou Ran in "Parrot Killing" suffered a "pig killing plate", was deeply shocked, and decided to treat her body with her human ways.
However, this repetition cannot be blamed entirely on Zhou Dongyu. She has repeatedly obtained such scripts, which are also inseparable from her own appearance. Zhou Dongyu is thin, his figure and facial features are relatively petite, and his face is green and childish, just like coming out of the picture of a lady, which is very suitable for playing a growth role. At the same time, this also means that those mature, glamorous big heroines seem to have nothing to do with her.
A still from "Hawthorn Tree Love"
It should be known that the reason why Zhou Dongyu was able to walk so steadily in the first half was due to the above-mentioned growth role. Playing such roles, she is not only handy, but also very secure. At the beginning of the casting of "Young You", she was questioned that the age gap between her and Yi Yangqianxi was too large and "played a middle school student", but after the movie was released, she conquered the audience with her acting skills, even if she appeared without makeup, there was no violation.
But playing such roles is not a long-term solution, and as she gets older, she will inevitably step out of her comfort zone and play some more mature and challenging roles. Simply put, this is actually the limited casting determined by the individual's body shape and temperament.
Although Zhou Dongyu's casting is similar, it is biased to blame her for the box office fiasco of "Burning Winter" and "Parrot Killing". Actors are not a key factor in determining box office quality. Actors basically only play an effective role in the early stage of the film's release, and the actor's influence cycle is still shortening, such as this summer, Shen Teng, Huang Bo, Wu Jing's "box office influence" has shown varying degrees of decline.
Some people blame the box office failures of "Burning Winter" and "Parrot Killing" on their literary and artistic attributes, which does not seem to be accurate, after all, literary and artistic films are not a few big sellers. In the final analysis, their biggest problem is still a gap problem - the disagreement between propaganda and reality. "Burning Winter" was set for Qixi to promote "this Qixi bold love", and as a result, it used commercial film means to attract the audience to watch an obscure literary and artistic film, and there were certain "loopholes" in the logic and values of the text.
"Parrot Kill" poster
The same is true of "Parrot Kill", the promotional materials are written with words such as "from a large number of real cases" and "the first pig-killing plate female anti-killing movie", and the audience has high hopes for it, hoping that it will reproduce the commercial sense of "All or Nothing", but in the end, it tells the love story between the heroine and two fraudulent boys.
The problems of the film's style and publicity method implicated Zhou Dongyu as an actor, causing her to fall into the current public opinion situation. Coupled with the fact that the two films are like this one after another, it can only be said that the luck is somewhat bad and "encountered the water reverse".
Where is the way forward?
It has been 4 years since Zhou Dongyu's last film ("Young You") that was acclaimed and won numerous awards. After that, Zhou Dongyu's works appeared chaotic and chaotic, lacking rules - not only wanting to take into account the comfort zone, but also testing the water in the main theme and ancient dolls, which is very "greedy and chewy".
In this, the two released works "Burning Winter" and "Parrot Killing" mainly continue her past "painful youth" route. However, these two films are not as simple as they seem, but have the ambition to impact the world, but they have not achieved the effect.
"Burning Winter" director Chen Zheyi is a Singaporean director who is highly regarded in the international film industry and has participated in the Cannes Film Festival three times. He came to China to make a film this time, originally full of confidence, "Burning Winter" was also nominated for the "A kind of attention" unit of the Cannes Film Festival, but unfortunately showed his true face after the screening, and he was unconvinced and broke halfway.
The director of "Parrot Killing", Ma Yingxin, has lived in Spain for a long time, and has previously planned many retrospectives and film exhibitions for Spanish director Almodóvar, and is familiar with the international film world. Zhou Dongyu's choice to star in her feature film debut is not unrelated to her identity.
"Burning Winter" is the main creator of the expedition to Cannes
It can be seen that as a leading figure among young actors in China, Zhou Dongyu also wants to follow Maggie Cheung, Gong Li and other predecessors to go international, and make some gains in the "Big Three" in Europe (Cannes, Venice, Berlin). But this road is not easy, in recent years, Chinese films have not been ideal for the "big three", and the scenery of the fifth and sixth generation directors has long been gone, and Zhou Dongyu still needs to wait for the opportunity.
As an actor who has already achieved results, there are relatively many resources and opportunities, so it is necessary to be more cautious in choosing scripts and roles. On the one hand, it is necessary to clarify its own characteristics, clarify its market positioning, and choose the role that we are good at, which is the basic plate; On the other hand, it is also necessary to make appropriate adjustments as we get older and the market changes, and broaden our careers by looking for breakthroughs.
Zhou Dongyu's problem is that the "basic plate" is too solidified, the personal breakthrough is insufficient, and he is blind in taking over the play. In recent years, she has participated in some works through friendly cameos, special guest actors and even starring roles, but the reputation is not satisfactory: "Ancient Jue Dust" with 5.4 points, "Embracing You Through Winter" with 5.5 points, "You Are My Spring" with 4.6 points, "Changsha Nightlife" with 5.6 points, "King of the Long Sky" with 6.6 points, and "Chinese Youth: Me and My Youth" with 5.2 points.
A still from "King of the Long Sky"
Looking back, the high-quality works starring Zhou Dongyu are mostly female themes - the characters have distinct personalities, their own tension, and there is a strong room for play. But in some films, obviously there is no room for performance, she still acted, which makes people scratch their heads. For example, in the movie "King of the Long Sky", because it is a male theme, her existence has been greatly weakened. In addition, this kind of commercial film has the characteristics of heavy story and light performance, which will also wear down her acting skills to a certain extent.
In this regard, we may as well venture to speculate: or complex characters and sharp texts are difficult to come by, so she retreats to the second place and chooses to play those safe but not outstanding roles. This is a drain for actors.
However, in the inventory to be screened, Zhou Dongyu also has several films to look forward to.
Her "Rock Solid" with Zhang Yimou was filmed in 2019 and was finally scheduled for this year's National Day. Judging from the trailer, there are many large-scale plots, and the lines of "there is money outside the money, and there are officials on the officials" are also very strong, and the expectations are full. But this is also a group portrait drama with a more male bias, Zhou Dongyu does not have many shots in the trailer, regardless of the final result, it is difficult to say that it is her masterpiece.
"Rock Solid" trailer poster
"Hot Search" starring her and Song Yang is scheduled for December 1. The film is director Xin Yukun's new work after "Heart Labyrinth" and "Violent Silence", which released a wave of word of mouth after the screening of this year's FIRST Youth Film Festival, with mixed evaluations, some people think that the level is online, and some people think that Xin Yukun has regressed seriously. The real situation remains to be seen.
The most notable work in Zhou Dongyu's "Inventory" is "Flame on the Plain" starring his partner Liu Haoran and Mei Ting, adapted from Shuang Xuetao's novel and produced by Berlin Golden Bear Award winner Diao Yinan. This is a realistic film focusing on the changes of the times, corporate restructuring and personal destiny, and the audience who has seen it has a high evaluation, but it has not been finalized.
In fact, Zhou Dongyu's performance strength is undoubtedly a rare genius among the new generation of actors, but the fate of a work is not something that the actors themselves can decide, and the current "failure" does not explain anything. We might as well be a little more patient, I believe that Zhou Dongyu will still have a good job, after all, she has just turned 30 years old and has a long career.