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"Lost and Love": Get Ready to Feel Depressed 

Wednesday, Mar 18 2015
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Losing a child is a deeply traumatic experience for a parent, and possibly more so in densely populated China, where human trafficking is a $30 billion industry. In Sanyuan Peng's Lost and Love, Lei (Andy Lau) is a man who's been searching for his son for 14 years, driving across the country in a motorcycle with flags bearing the child's face. Along the way, Lei meets Ceng (Boran Jing, who frequently conflates shouting with emoting), a young man who himself had been abducted. Lei and Ceng are not the biological kin the other is seeking, but they form a bond all the same, together facing a harsh society that could blame parents for being "irresponsible" enough to lose a child. There's no way to make material like this light or funny, but Lost and Love is particularly bleak, aided visually by a Chinese countryside that would be beautiful were it not for the perpetual smog, and by a musical score that yanks hard on the heartstrings. The film does try to leaven the despair with a few moments of humor, but they tend to aim too low, such as Ceng running off in terror when a slightly chubby woman flirts with him. Ha, ha. Sometimes comic relief isn't worth it.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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