New World2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
Story: Beijing, December 2010. After hearing interesting thinks about Osaka, Coco (Coco Shi) tells her businessman boyfriend Jimmy (Liu Dunlin) that she wants to spend Christmas there. After a row with him, she ends up going on her own. She’s met at the airport by Chinese friend Ivy (Miyawaki Yan) who’s arranged a room for her at a family-run guesthouse, in the seedy downtown area of Shinsekai, run by the Fukuda family and their son Masanobu (Ogawa Takeru).
After seeing her room, Coco refuses to stay there and storms off; Ivy later tracks her down and invites her to stay at her tiny flat. That evening Ivy takes her along to a bar where she works evenings, and Coco re-meets Masanobu, a regular there.
The two patch things up, and spend time together, along with Komei (Tomonaga Komei), the young son of the bar’s owner, and Eri (Tomonaga Eri), who has fled after borrowing heavily from gangsters. Later that night Ivy gets a call from some Chinese in Osaka who demand ¥5 million (US$65,000) within three days if she wants to see Eri alive. Meanwhile, Coco and Komei have bumped into Jun (Jun), a local fixer whom Jimmy has asked to take care of her while in Osaka.
After two false starts, Malaysian-Chinese film-maker LIM Kah Wai æž—å®¶å¨ finally gets into gear with his third indie feature New World æ–°ä¸–ç•Œã®å¤œæ˜Žã‘. A straightforward story about an eventful 24 hours spent by a solo Beijing tourist in Osaka during the run-up to Christmas, the film is still archly written in places; but Lim has thrown off the alienating artiness that dogged his static After All These Years å…¶å¾Œ and some of his two-women mood piece Magic and Loss ãƒžã‚¸ãƒƒã‚¯ï¼†ãƒã‚¹. There’s a visible line of development in his three films to date that shows him moving towards a style that speaks to an audience.
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