The Longest Night in Shanghai is still both one of my favourite romantic-dramaedies and pan-Asian (co-) productions. The main reasons include: the visually stunning settings, a compelling soundtrack throughout and a cute love story. Directed and co-written by Yibai Zhang. Third Chinese/Japanese co-production set in Shanghai by Movie-Eye Entertainment (Japan).
Short trailer here
The movie definitely takes you away from wherever you are and along for the romantic ride one night in Shanghai. Thankfully, its not the in-your-face city skylines and scenic images (like in Mirai Yosouzu) that make you a tourist watching a documentary or reading a brochure. — All the reviews I’ve read agree on this point 100%. Instead the setting and story are one in the same — in that the romance unfolds through the city and the city unfolds the romance.
Its always great when strong visuals have the perfect music to compliment them and this movie follows suit to that notion. As a Chinese/Japanese co-production film, and love story between a Japanese man and Chinese woman, scenes either contain both languages or none — but music to accompany all. This element almost makes subtitles unnecessary because you will understand and feel what’s going on.
Masahiro Motoki plays the Japanese make-up artist and Wei Zhao plays the Chinese cab driver. One is wound-up and the other is bubbly? As we (the audience) get to discover a city & love story, they (the characters) help each other discover things too — even with barriers to communication. In trying to understand each other they end up understanding themselves more than they could before.
Some reviews are not too favourable of their chemistry — which I disagree on. I thought it was great (like in 26 Years Diary — a Japan/Korea co-production). I do however agree on some of the other things these reviews point out like lack of substance in the subplots and side-stories that add little to the main story (even with a diverse cast). (Reviews below)
Full synopsis & cast here
aparoo says 5/5, this is my “go-to” cute-flick