A 20-year-old is forced to race against time to not just clear off his debts but also make a lot of money, because his younger sister’s life is on the line. Directed by Muye Wan, 2022 film ‘Nice View’ stars Jackson Yee as Jing Hao, the young man who finds life constantly beating him down. His little sister Jing Tong (an adorable Halin Chen) is the only ray of sunlight in his glum life.
Plot overview – Jing Hao buys a huge haul of dysfunctional phones, in hopes of fixing them and making a fortune from the sales to pay for his sister’s surgery. But a new government ruling dashes his dreams and Hao finds himself making a desperate gamble to get out his troubled situation.
Jackson Yee’s spirited performance as Jing Hao keeps the movie gritty, he exudes the confidence of a young man who is hellbent on overturning his fortunes against all odds. ‘Nice View’ is the name of his mobile repair shop in the film, but also symbolize the aspirations of the working class – everybody wants to have a nice view of the future, but for that, one needs to put in their blood, sweat and tears in the present. And that’s exactly what our protagonist does. His ‘never give up’ attitude in the film is infectious and inspiring.
That’s not to say “Nice View” doesn’t have its share of exaggerations. But it’s a story that is very Asian in spirit, relaying the importance of hard work and familial ties. In fact, Jing Hao’s relationship with his little sister is the most precious thing about the film, despite being only 20 himself, he is a protective father figure to the girl and is driven by the ambition to give her a good life and the best health-care.
The support cast does a fantastic job too, Jing Hao finds a motley crew of people who agree to work for him. From a nearly deaf middle-aged mother, to a retired wheel-chair bound man, there’s an interesting bunch of workers who become Jing Hao’s ‘people’. It was refreshing to not have a romantic sub-plot distracting from the main theme of the story. Instead, we see how important platonic bonds with working colleagues can be.
The cinematography captures different facets of China, from imposing high-rises, to rundown factory spaces, foreign viewers get an intriguing glimpse of the working life in the nation. The background score however sometimes stuck out like a sore-thumb, while at points the music perfectly matched the mood of the scenes, there were times that the makers chose tracks that disrupted the pace of the film, instead of heightening it.
Overall, ‘Nice View’ is an entertaining drama that’s worth a watch. It’s a 7/10 from me. You can stream it on Netflix.
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