A Women A Gun and A Noodle Shop Or A Simple Noodle Story


Zhan Yimou

Location Filmed

Hong Kong

Movie Synopsis

I am writing this review flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet, on a flight from Atlanta on my way back to Phoenix. Let me say, it’s a bit challenging; as my seat won’t recline and the yahoo in front of me has his seat so far back, I can practically see down his shirt. I paid $78 for premier seating and this is the best this ghetto airline (US Airways) can offer. Flying has gotten way unfun-at least domestically. Of course the old battle axes tossing peanuts in our face and serving us apple juice in thin plastic cups could care less. Who could blame them-it’s a thankless job. Ok-don’t want to be one of those assholes that do nothing but complain.

This movie is almost bi-polar. In one instance, it’s slapstick comedy that is Stooge-esque and the next, twisted like Dexter. In essence, this movie is a re-make of the Coen Brothers’ 1984 Blood Simple and it’s entertaining.

The scene begins in a noodle shop (in China’s Gansu province) owned and run by the bitter, yet devious character, Wang. His wife is quite simply miserable in this arrangement and starts to contemplate spending some snuggly time with Li (one of the employees). Li is a shy man who keeps a gun nearby. He reassures the wife it is with the thought of “killing your husband later”.

Every chance, the-would be lovers might get together, is thwarted as Wang is very perceptive and sees; or at least suspects everything and everyone. Wang then hires Zhang (a scary patrol officer) to kill both the lovers. The plan seems airtight until Zhang develops ideas of his own. Cue: BRING ON THE VIOLENCE.

Intermixed with this story is one magical scene where a bunch of troops come into the noodle shop for a bite. The cooking sequence of hands tossing the dough, cutting noodles, and topping the piping hot bowls with smoking oil is really cool. There is a rumbling drum score as this scene goes on. I compare it to the scene in “Eat Drink Man Women” where the camera races through the banquet kitchen that’s in full swing. The only thing is that I wish that this film included more scenes in the kitchen. It’s worth watching if for that scene alone. My suggestion is to get some Chinese beer, good take out and make a date night of it.

Additional Credits

Writers: Shi Jianquan, Jing Shang