Wow, just wow. This movie is pure amazing. You HAVE to watch it, can't recommend it enough! Based on a true story, the movie tells about bullying in high school, where people are struggling for university exams. High school girl Chen Nian finds her bullied classmate lying dead on the ground on campus after suicide, and then she is subjected to severe bullying as well. She meets a tough guy from the streets, who she later asks if he can protect her, which he agrees to ... and a strong bond between the two grows, but then something dramatic happens.
This movie gave me a roller coaster full of emotions, on the deepest level! It made me so angry, sad and disturbed how people can be so cruel and heartless, many finding others in pain just amusing, something to laugh at! And it makes me speechless how people can just take photos of a dead body instead of calling the ambulance! Chen Nian was the only decent one, who covered her dead classmate's body with her jacket. But in midst of all misery, there is a glimpse of light and hope... this movie has lots of ugliness, but also lots of beauty. The most beautiful thing about Better Days, is the deep bond between Chen Nian and Xiao Bei / Bei Shan. Their bond is thicker than blood, they have a deep connection, like soulmates, it goes even deeper than that of lovers (its obvious they are in love with each other), rarely you find a special bond like this! At first, Chen Nian looked down on Xiao Bei for being poor, uneducated, having no goals in life, and just getting into fights. But when Chen Nian cannot anymore handle the severe bullying, she goes to him and ask him to protect her (which he offered her to do earlier but she declined), he agrees. And boy, he takes his "job" as protector very seriously and follows her around, walking always behind her. He is willing to go extreme lengths to keep her safe.
There is one particular scene that touched me so much, it gave me goosebumps! I don't want to spoil too much, but it was after Xiao Bei found Chen Nian all beaten up... so yeah, the scene involves Xiao Bei and Chen Nian, it was that moment that made their bond soooo deep, the deepest kind of bond! When seeing that beautiful, meaningful scene, I knew this movie would become one of my absolute favorite movies of all time and my absolute number 1 favorite asian movie!
I love that this movie is anti-bullying, it never blames the victim, all the blame goes to the bullies. I mean, this movie shows how some people puts some blame on the victim too, but the movie still manages to make it clear that how wrong it is for those kind of people to put blame on the victim. Chen Nian goes through hell, but some doesn't take it seriously and just says stuff like "they are just teenagers, they don't know any better, so let it just be". Luckily tho, not all are like that, for exemple the policeman Zheng Yi who really wants to help Chen Nian. He is speechless how people can defend the bullies, even more speechless how the bullies has not even a hint of remorse!
One evening, something very dramatic happens. And Xiao Bei's pure and deep love for Chen Nian makes him go great great lenghts for her. Better Days deals first of all about bullying, second is the relationship between Chen Nian and Xiao Bei, but I found both equally as important. The acting of Zhou Dong Yu (who potrayed as Chen Nian) and Jackson Yee (who potrayed as Xiao Bei) is amazing, the acting couldn't be more amazing. Actually, all actors did a wonderful job! And the cinematography is A++! Honestly, this movie is pure perfection that touched deeply my soul. There is absolute nothing I would wanna change. This movie made it even more impacrful because its based on a true story, wow. And can you believe this masterpiece almost was never released, because of chinese censorship?? I'm so thankful it was released, it would be like a huge crime to not release a amazing movie like this with such important message. Obs, if you decide to watch this, remember to NOT turn off the movie when the closing credits comes, there is a bit more to come. I will definitely be rewatching Better Days soon again, I can't get this art of movie out of my head.. it's just THAT great!!
OSCARS NOMINATED TOO. Also, I watched this movie last weekend on some illegal site with english subtitles , but 2 days later I found out this movie will be on cinema in Sweden (Where I’m from) April 22! I’m sooo happy about that, I would definitely have gone and watched it, but by then I’m on vacation in Paris.
10/10 easily for me!