AKA: The Story of Qiu Ju
AKA: Qiu Ju Goes to Court
(Release Date: 1992)Netherlands, Feb 18 1993
Man, I tell you what, some jackass does that to me he'd better like follow that up with two bullets to the forehead 'cause if he doesn't finish me I'll kill his ass, Mister! I mean it, dudes, I'd be all like "Hey, pig-dick, you totally kicked me in the nuts and you're gonna die like that first Stormtrooper in a raygun fight you piece of piss." And then I'd take my shoe off up his ass, man, just for starters.
See, Quinglai's not in any position to do that, though, dudes, because he's like rolling around in this cart holding his groin like Hans Moleman in that one Simpsons Episode! Luckily he's got his champions in the form of his little sister Meizi (Liuchun Yang) and his lovely wife Qiu Ju (the nearly unrecognizable, but still cute, Li Gong). See, old Qiu Ju takes this ball kicking as a personal insult, and that chick is nots to be fucked wit', lemmetellya. Man, you kick this babe's husband in the Taco, you'd better be prepared to catch hell in your well-oiled mitt, because if you aren't, hell's a-comin' anyway, you pineapple head, you!
To exacerbate matters, Qiu Ju is as pregnant as any female cast member from 7th Heaven because she and Quinglai like tooooooooootally did it, but, like they don't know whether the impending bambino is going to be a dude or a chick yet, and you know how it is with those Chinese Birthing Laws, so Qiu Ju is all freaked that her man's busted-ass privates are gonna have some serious-ass impact on whether or not they ever do it again, and thus, get all kinds of pregnant again and shit, you know.
So like Qiu Ju and her kid sidekick Meizi start a two-chick campaign to get an apology from that nut hoofin' piss-ant village chief Wang Shantang (Quesheng Lei). But, whoa, dude, he's like all "Hell no, Bitch, I ain't apologizin', this muh-fuh went and insulted my manhood and shit, so I was forced to do a little soft shoe on his, word!". So ol' Qiu Ju goes to higher and higher authorities, appealing the decisions up and up and up the ladder until she gets satisfaction.
To this class act's credit she's not satisfied with the moolah that keeps getting thrown at her. She wants an apology, dude. She's like "Ah-Ah, Bay-Bee, you ain't bribin' my ass with no two-hunnert fifty Yuen after you go and kick my husband in his low and wrinklies. Nah-ah, heeeeeeeell naw, your ass better cough up that apology real proper like, or Captain Ahab's gotta go hunt his whale!" The Subtitles don't ACTUALLY say that, but it's like totally implied, man!
The problem is that each subsequent pig-dick authority hands down a similar verdict: A Face-Saving Payoff with no admission of guilt. But Qiu Ju won't stop, dudes, and Quinglai starts to realize that there just might be something more emasculating than getting booted where the sun don't never shine, kids. That being your totally preggo wife fightin' your battles for you like an expecting version of that Dark Cloud chick from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Turns out no one thinks it's as big a deal as she does.
You know what I think the director, ol' Yimou Zhang and that writer guy Heng Liu should've done? Dude, they should've showed the pusillanimous dick-kickin' act right on up front, son. We'll check out old Wang rarin' back and nailin' poor ol' Quinglai in the wang (apropos, no?). And then we'd see ol' Quinglai's face shoot up to heaven as he screams at volume 11 "OH MY GOD MY BALLS! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" and then his face could turn all red and tears could shoot out of both eyes as he slowly rose four feet in the air in total Matrix-esque slo-mo before crashin' back down to the ungrateful earth like a Tree with no Julia Butterfly Hill to preserve it. Dude, every man in the audience, of any race, culture, creed, ability, disability or sexuality would squirm and wiggle-worm around, favoring the family footballs in righteous anger. That'd remove all moral ambiguity there, man. I swear, every dude in the place would be like "Hang his ass, ball kickin' ass-face. You go Qiu Ju, Stand by your man, Baby! Totally, girl, you reclaim that scrotum, baby-doll!" I totally bet that's what happened in the novel The Wan Family's Lawsuit by Yuan Bin Chen, which this film's like totally based on. If that's not what happened it should've.
This makes me want to direct an American remake. It'd be part House of Flying Daggers and part Kill Bill. I'd even use the original cast. Sweet Li would be like "You kicked my husband in the fortune cookies, you total dick, and now it's time to pay the pooper." And then she'd go all Lady Vengeance on his ass, while one at a time everybody else in the movie would put on Stilletto heels and dance a damn Jig on Wang's wang, culminating in Qiu Ju's baby being born healthy, strapping on a pair of Doc Martens and finishing up the job with a Step-Ball-Change to the loins followed by the loud incantation of "YOU GOT KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT!"
Okay, that's just because I'm like a total American dude, dude, sorry. To the great credit of the cast and crew, The Story of Qiu Ju isn't an action flick or a thriller in any real way. All the "Revenge" we find in the 110 minute run time is legal and appropriately sought out by a good woman who just so knows she's in the right (by aaron pruitt). And even though the Chief is a total ass-hat, there is good and bad in everyone Qiu Ju comes across. Therefore there is as much reconciliation as uncompromising bitch-slapping in this here picture. Further, the acting is like superfantastic, especially that of the great Li Gong. She's not alone, though, as the whole cast nails this rocker. Specifically, Zhijun Ge's portrayal of Officer Li is both subtle and complex.
The skills of all these dudes and chicks make for a totally deep story of morality, justice and pride, and about how all those things can collide and crash into each other like that one UPN Show with all the Wrestlers...... Crashdown or something? Anyway, you know, when Pride and Love and Family and Honor and Saving Face and the Law and the Right Thing all step into the ring together, the odds are good that somebody's gonna get kicked in the balls.
Four Stars out of Five for The Story of Qiu Ju, an unconventional story of legal revenge and the conflict of right, wrong, pride and the space between all three. I'd be a total Daffy Duck or something if I didn't mention how beautiful this movie is, dude. In the journey from the peasant ranks to the high official magistrates, we see a seriously divided society, which makes the empowerment of the big Q. J. all the cooler, kids. And with each step of the way we see a different and fantastically photographed section of China from the sticks to the cities, and each part of it beautiful in its own way. It's so beautiful, in fact, that it makes me want to visit China, both Rural and Metropolitan. Yeah, then I'd travel along on a bicycle and preach the Christian Message of "Thou Shalt Not Totally Kick thy Neighbor in the Nuts, dude!" I know that's not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but it's like totally implied, man! I mean, that's just common courtesy.
See you in the next reel, or I will Kick you in the Nuts!
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