Film Review: Chongqing Hot Pot

By Tatiana Ho

The China Lion Film, “Chongqing Hot Pot”, opens with a chilling scene of four bank robbers completing their tasks in clown like masks. The title comes along with the history of Chongqing; an area that is known for their variety of restaurants but also houses many underground bomb shelters around the city. The film takes the audience on a journey throughout their lives, blatantly portraying the effects that each decision the group makes has on their lives.

“Chongqing Hot Pot’ centers around three childhood friends played by Chen Kun, Qin Hao and Yu Entai, who later tie in Bai Baihe, who portrays an acquaintance of the three men. While they attempt to expand their “Cave” Hot Pot, they name it this because of their use of the underground bomb shelters within the city, the men continue to struggle with the upkeep of their makeshift business. The crime thriller hosts a sort of time warp, jumping back to the situations that ultimately lead the men to their breaking point.

Like most crime movies, the development of the main characters is an important aspect within the film; it allows the audience to understand the characters more than just black and white “bad guys” and even results in some conflicting sympathy for their situation.

The most rewarding part of the film is the tantalizing mystery; just when the viewers believe that they have the whole film figured out, an unexpected plot twist comes along. Although the journey of four creates a heartbreaking story of hardworking individuals that just want to receive what they believe is “due”, “Chongqing Hot Pot” also questions the morality of the characters and where this morality begins to stop.

The film was released April 1, displayed in Mandarin Dialect with English Subtitles. Watch the trailer here:

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