Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Chinese Puzzle (Casse-tete Chinois)
'Chinese Puzzle' is a French film with French, English, Spanish and Mandarin dialogue that is set mainly in Brooklyn, New York City. The wife of a Parisian writer leaves him and takes their two children to set up home with a new lover in New York. The writer, who has previously fathered a child with two Lesbians, all three of whom happen also to live in New York, follows his estranged wife and children there, marries a Chinese American and subsequently is joined by a former girlfriend and her son. Got all that?
It sounds quite ridiculous and perhaps incomprehensible when set out like that but the film explains it all with clarity and a surprising level of charm amongst the humour. The Chinatown of Brooklyn and what I guess are the cafes in its surrounds all convey the thrill and vibe of life in New York City. I love the glimpses of daily New York life whether it is in children's playgrounds, on graffiti drenched rooftops or at the outdoor Chinese dance/exercise sessions.
A little awkward in its early scenes 'Chinese Puzzle' develops into a real delight.