'Kill Mobile' shaking up modern relationships

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, December 28, 2018
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Employing dark comedy and satire, the new film "Kill Mobile" is likely to spur controversy among lovers and challenge the way social relationships are enacted over technology in China at the year's end.

Cast and crew from the new release "Kill Mobile" pose on the red carpet at the film premiere in Beijing, Dec. 26, 2018. [Photo/China.org.cn]

"Kill Mobile" is a new Chinese adaptation of the 2016 high-rating Italian movie "Perfetti Sconosciuti" (Perfect Strangers). It tells the story of seven long-time friends playing a party game in which everyone hands over their phones to reveal all calls, texts and WeChat messages, which opens a Pandora's box for every person in the room. 

After purchasing adaptation rights at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, the Chinese film studio New Classic Media hired the famous screenwriting couple Yu Miao and Li Xiao to localize and remake the film, which is also Yu's directorial debut. The film stars Tong Dawei, Ma Li, Huo Siyan, Qiao Shan, Tian Yu, Dai Lele and supermodel Ming Xi, who makes her acting debut.

Yu said at the Beijing premiere on Wednesday that the mobile phone is an indispensable communication tool for modern people, but that with the emergence of more and more apps, it has become a barrier between people. If being used improperly, the phone will even "kill" communication. He added that the film may be a touchstone of love.

"I think I particularly love this Chinese version," actress Ma Li said. "It's a drama that interprets different stories and different aspects of human nature." 

Ma told the audience that she used to hate mobile phone addicts but later found herself becoming what she once hated. "The more I used my cellphone, the more I slowly alienate myself from family and friends. So after making  this film, I will go back to my family and friends and put down my phone as much as possible to get closer to the truly important people in my life."

A promotional poster for the film "Kill Mobile," due to be released Dec. 28. [Photo courtesy of New Classic Media]

But the film is not just a warning to mobile phone addicts, it's also a fable reflecting those who hide their darkest secrets in their devices. 

Actor Tong Dawei challenged the audience: "If your lover wants to check your mobile phone, it must mean that you let some demons be seen by him or her. Couples should try to come and watch this movie together. I dare you to come – if you can't, ask yourself if you have some secrets to hide?"

"Kill Mobile" has received mostly positive reviews so far from 4,000 critics and movie goers following 29 advanced screenings in Beijing on Wednesday night. Due to the good word-of-mouth, the distributors have decided to open the film nationwide on the night of Dec. 28, rather than Dec. 29 as scheduled. 

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