LOST IN RUSSIA (囧妈) (2020)
Due to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, believe it or not, the supposedly Lunar New Year comedy from Xu Zheng is now available online to watch for free courtesy of the generosity of the movie company.
Lost In Russia tells the story of Ivan Xu and her mother Lu Xiaohua (Huang Meiying) on a six days train journey to Russia where Xiaohua is scheduled to perform at the Moscow theatre. Known for his buddy comedies, Lost In Hong Kong and Lost In Hong Kong, Xu Zheng takes on a similar theme except a different partner this time so instead of Zhao Wei or Wang Baoqiang, Xu Zheng pairs up with veteran actress Huang Meiying. And as with any movies with the pairing of a mother and son, there are bound to be conflicts, loud quarrels, heartfelt reunion and more.
Xu confidently setup first half of the premise entirely on the train in a small cabin no less shared by other train commuters. For a start, Ivan is stuck with his ever-controlling mum on the train after trying hard to get back his passport from her. At the same time, Ivan is on the brink of divorce from his wife and ex-company partner Zhang Lu (Yuan Quan). Trouble ensues as we follow Ivan trying hard to keep his mum from meddling in his affairs and desperately sabotaging Zhang’s discussion with a potential business partner in the States.
For fervent followers of Xu’s works, Lost In Russia is yet another example of his perfect comedy timing and witty look at our evolving world. Ivan’s heated exchanges with his mom is all too familiar for those who has a nosy yet caring mother. Lu Xiaohua is the typical Asian mother whose ways of showering her love are by constantly calling her daughter-in-law and stuffing Ivan with cherry tomatoes and egg. Xiaohua is also the typical kiasu mother who laughingly brings her own truckload of food onboard.
Ivan is the typical son who neglects her mother’s welfare and affair except providing her in terms of financial needs. He wants to reconcile with his wife but find it hard to open up his heart and feelings to her. Lost In Russia is a comedy that comes fully packed with interesting messages and heartfelt drama. And yet it’s also an immensely entertaining flick that constantly provides audiences with laugh-out-loud antics including a scene that has Ivan dangling on top of the moving train and a wild bear chase in the snow (excellent CGI by Tippett Studio).
Because Xu Zheng and Huang Meiying is so believable and likeable, Lost In Russia is a high energy comedy flick that touches the heart and have you roaring with laughter despite a runtime of slightly over two hours. On a side note, the late Godfrey Kao has a small role as Zhang Lu’s lawyer. To sum up, Lost In Russia comes highly recommended.
Review by Linus Tee