Published Sep 01, 2000Suzhou is a modern-day fairy tale about a motorcycle courier who betrays the woman he loves. Suzhou River is in Shanghai and it is not a likely setting for a fairy tale. It's overly industrialized, the consummate example of urban sprawl and the perfect backdrop for a story about a woman who discovers how cheaply her life is valued. Mardar (Jia Hongsheng), a motorcycle courier connected to a gang, is hired to drive Moudan (Zhou Xun) back and forth from her father to her aunt. Her father wants her out of the way whenever he has a date. Mardar and Moudan fall in love but then Mardar's friends decide to kidnap her and he decides to help. The movie has some rhapsodic moments that show director Lou Ye has a lot of potential. But Suzhou also has a tendency to sometimes slip into schmaltz. This is especially true of the movie's overly syrupy, highly unoriginal, love-song laden soundtrack.