The Chinese teen bullying drama “Better Days” is not any simple watch, as we see a highschool scholar endure fixed and merciless bodily and emotional abuses from her classmates. But director Derek Tsang says moving into the headspace of her character and enduring this punishment was no simple job for his lead actress, both.
At one level within the movie, the primary character’s bullies violently whip volleyballs at her, and Tsang had the troublesome job of being the one to throw the volleyballs from off digital camera. Though Tsang had beforehand labored with star Zhou Dongyu on his movie “Soul Mate,” he mentioned he “pushed her really hard on set” this time round.
“A lot of the scenes I was pushing her very hard, and there were times where she was near to the point of breaking down. But she was very strong. She really wanted to do right to the character and to the film. She stayed strong for the whole film,” Tsang informed TheWrap on Monday as a part of the Awards and & International Screening Series. “I do appreciate it because she was really near the point of breaking down, but she braved through. She really wanted to do it well.”
“Better Days” is Hong Kong’s submission into the International Feature race at this 12 months’s Oscars, and the movie is a couple of lady named Chen Nian who goes to excessive lengths to protect herself from bullies with a purpose to survive lengthy sufficient to take her faculty exams and discover a higher future. After considered one of her associates commits suicide due to vicious bully assaults, these bullies turn into her personal bullies. Chen Nian then finds consolation and a touching romance from a punk dropout (Jackson Lee) she asks to guard her.
Tsang’s movie is punishing and hardly delicate however stylized and infrequently romantic because it goes from a teen bullying drama to a love story to lastly against the law procedural. And Tsang mentioned in researching the movie, he found quite a few horror tales from across the globe and even found why bullying in opposition to women is usually “a lot more vicious.”
“There’s a lot of mind games going on, and then there’s also the vicious attacks that can happen. It’s just really vicious on many different levels. All the stories that we heard as we were doing research, it was brutal,” Tsang mentioned. “They do a lot of different mind games. They would befriend you, then they would shame you in front of everyone.”
As for Zhou, Tsang needed to ship her a few of these bullying movies and tales with a purpose to higher assist her perceive her character. Tsang mentioned Zhou is totally totally different from her character, and it took her a while to mix in. But he mentioned Zhou and he had an settlement upfront to given the viewers a unique facet they hadn’t seen of her as an actress.
“If you know her, she is someone that would not, she would not take s— from people. If someone challenges her, if someone bullies her, she would fight back right away,” he mentioned. “Everyday when we were on set when we were on set, it was constant beatings, constant abuses, so it was a really tough shoot for her.”
While “Better Days” just isn’t primarily based on a real story however as a substitute a novel, the movie attracts from the truth and strain of scholars taking the nationwide exams throughout China, in addition to the common downside of bullying. Tsang says that whereas his movie can’t immediately clear up the problem of bullying around the globe, he hopes it’s going to begin a bigger dialog.
“It really dawned on us that it’s not something we can answer with a film. With the film, we want to raise the question, we want to raise the awareness, but I wouldn’t want to say that we have the answer that,” Tsang mentioned. “There’s no slogan, there’s no easy way to say this. We just want to raise the awareness to let other people know there are other people going through these things. You are not alone.”
Watch the complete video dialog right here and above.
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