520 Huilan was right on time!

520 Huilan. Film review by Jen Bush

Marriage proposals have evolved over the years.  From simply getting down on one knee to placing sparkling diamond rings in champagne flutes or hiring a skywriter to spell out will you marry me? against a celestial backdrop, people have been creative.  Current proposal trends include flash mob dances often with friends and family and elaborate destination proposals.  Hijacking a bus armed with a gun to impress your gal and pop the question, not so much.  You might only see that in the movies, or you might see a movie with that as the premise like 520 Huilan.

In the vein of Speed with a little bit of Twilight Zone peppered in, 520 Huilan is a suspenseful comedic film that takes place primarily on a bus.  The movie was made in China with English subtitles.  The main character Bhozhon played deftly by Yao-Ren Kuo goes to elaborate lengths to propose to his girlfriend, Huilan.  He plans to board the bus she takes every day, fight off a thug, be hailed a hero and ask her to marry him.  Things start to unravel when the people he rehearsed with are not the people riding on the bus with him.  This plan really goes off the road when the prop gun he thinks he has turns out to be very real.

This 40-minute short had the feel of a feature film.  The production quality was exceptional.  The story was so captivating that the subtitles weren’t a bother.  It had a high level of suspense and a touch of Sci-fi to it.  Yao-Ren Kuo was outstanding as the confused antagonist/protagonist.  Anu Dangidulun was a standout as The Aboriginal.  He provided most of the comic relief in the film as one of the passengers. 

Winnie Wang who comes from a supportive performing arts family and has been in the arts since the tender age of five was wonderful as the student. She demonstrated range by going from shy to bold during the course of the film.   She is credited as Tsern-Yun Wang.  The entire cast did a fine job of making this film work well.  The ending credits were dynamic.  They featured the whole cast behind the scenes while a catchy Chinese pop tune played. 

At the end we got to see the band and the singer.  Writer and director Albert Ventura Roldan took a well written script on a direct bus route to success.

I spotted something very interesting in the closing credits.  It said that Huilan accepted the proposal, and the couple is now living happily with two children.  IF this really happened on some level, I say wow and I wonder what the gender reveal was like!


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