Caught In the Web Reviewed by a Chinese Language Teacher

By Serena Li, teacher at Kwong Kow Chinese School

Caught in the Web is a Chinese movie directed by Chen Kaige, a leading figure of the fifth generation of Chinese cinema. In this July 2012 movie, director Chen tried to combine the passion for Internet among modern Chinese people with his unique storytelling skills. Caught in the Web is the official entry from China to the 85th Academy Awards (2013) for Best Foreign Language Film.

Luo Laiming, a movie reviewer for China Radio International’s website, wrote about the film: “Chinese director Chen Kaige’s new film Caught in the Web is a far cry from his usual style. Featuring a number of famous actors such as Wang Xueqi, Chen Hong, Yao Chen, Gao Yuanyuan and Mark Chao, the film examines a social phenomenon that is very modern and up-to-date in a society increasingly dependent on the Internet. And that’s not the only modern part of this film. “

Personally, I believe this movie is much better than other movies directed by Chen Kaige. His wife, Chen Hong, acted as Mo Xiaoyu in the movie. She is also the producer of the movie. This couple always work as a team in most of Chen Kaige’s movies.

The attractive points in the movie do not only include the realistic theme in the contemporary China, but also give us a glimpse about Chinese fashion in 2012. In China, internet is widely used as any developed countries. Whatever you say or whatever you do might be caught by videos or pictures.

As long as those weird words or behaviors are against moral standards in the society, it might cause great reaction on the Internet. Therefore, the female involved in will be labeled as XX姐(jie3, elder sister), and the male will be called as 哥(ge1, elder brother). In the movie, the main character Ye4 Lan2 Qiu1 irritates the public by her behavior, and she wears a pair of sunglasses(Mo4 Jing4) that day. So she is titled as 墨镜姐(Mo4 Jing4 Jie3).