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The Road Home

4.7 out of 5 stars 186 customer reviews

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(Nov 27, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the award-winning director of such acclaimed films as Raise the Red Lantern and Ju Dou comes aromantic drama whose story is as beautiful as the cinematography. THE ROAD HOME will take you on anunforgettable journey filled with romance, culture and tradition. When his father dies, Luo Yushengreturns from the city to his childhood village where his father was the much-revered local teacher.But what begins as a short trip to bury his father becomes much more when he learns his mother wants a traditional burial for her beloved husband. She wants to have him carried by foot, honoring the belief that a body returned this way will never forget the road home. As Yusheng enlists the men needed to fulfill her wishes, the story of his parents' love affair unfolds. In the days of arranged marriages, he learns theirs was the first based on love.


At the start of the most recent film from Chinese director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Ju Dou, Shanghai Triad), a young man returns to his native village after the death of his father, the village's schoolteacher, who died while trying to raise money for a new schoolhouse. His body is in a neighboring town; the young man's mother insists that it be brought back on foot, lest his spirit not find his way home. From this starting point, the young man recounts the tale of his parents' courtship, which involved a red banner, mushroom dumplings, a colorful barrette, and a broken bowl. The Road Home is beautifully filmed, particularly the luminous face of Zhang Ziyi (from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), whose performance is a heartrending portrait of hope and yearning. A simple but deeply emotional film. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Zhang Ziyi, Honglei Sun, Hao Zheng
  • Directors: Zhang Yimou
  • Producers: Zhao Yu
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Dolby, Subtitled
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: November 27, 2001
  • Run Time: 1 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005QFE5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,125 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Road Home" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Clean is the autumn wind,
Splendid is the autumn moon,
The blown leaves are heaped and scattered,
The ice-cold raven starts from its roost
Dreaming of you-when shall I see you again?
On this night sorrow fills my heart.

-Li Po (701-762)
Chinese Poet, "Verses"

In a mesmerizing story of love and loss based on Bao Shi's novel: "Rememberance," you will find two hearts. A teacher wanting to give his knowledge to the next generation and a farm girl wanting to share her very soul with the man she loves. This is about how in the winter of a life, the summer is remembered and celebrated.

From the very start of this movie, it will draw you into the intimacy of the most private thoughts of the characters. There are thoughts about life, death, love, loss and loneliness. The contrast of the black-and-white present with the ecstatic color flashback scenes of the past are so sharp, it is almost emotionally overwhelming. Snow drifts across the frozen earth and there are scenes of the bitter cold.

The story is set around the life of a schoolhouse built when two people fall in love. As they age, the schoolhouse also ages and when businessman Luo Yusheng's (Sun Honglei) father dies, the schoolhouse is ready to be rebuilt. He leaves the city and returns to the snowy path leading to the mountain village of Sanhetun in Northern China.

Luo Changyu (Zheng Hao) helped to build the schoolhouse and taught there for almost his entire life. After getting caught in a snow storm, his heart condition is revealed and he is unable to continue raising money for this project. He dies never seeing his dream of the new schoolhouse come true.

Luo Yusheng finds his mother Zhao Di (Zhao Yuelin plays the older Di) weeping at the school.
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Eclipsing any romantic comedy or drama from Hollywood in the last 30 years, The Road Home achieves so much by doing very little. Master filmmaker Zhang Yimou successfully captures what it's really like to fall in love for the first time through his use of cinematography (sumptuous as always), unparalleled attention to detail, and, as always, a super strong cast (spearheaded by relative newcomer, the beautiful Zhang Ziyi). Unlike most romance movies, there is no love-making in this film. There is no kissing. The characters show their love through little things that we often take for granted: preparing food, giving small yet meaningful gifts, and other gestures. Like most of Zhang Yimou's films, there is relatively little music, however, the music that is there is perfect. It rises to the occasion when needed and dies down when not.
All of the elements of this film work together like clockwork...better than clockwork. It manages to get its message across more than western romances through uncomparable use of setting and shot framing, costume and make-up, lighting (with some brilliantly-back lit shots of the actors), and figure behavior.
Now about the DVD. This is a film whose setting was meant to be seen only in widescreen. The picture holds up well both in sun-lit outdoor conditions and slightly darker indoor scenes. The voices are set at a nice level and when the score hits its high note, the sound is heavenly...even through a plain Dolby Surround system.
Plain and simple, this is a film which should not be passed up.
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Last night I was given the opportunity of a private screening of this film. I am not a major movie fanatic, and am jaded by lackluster supposed Hollywood "blockbusters". I also usually shy away from foriegn films with subtitles, rarely giving them a chance - therefore I came into this screening a skeptic. Let me tell you I was more than pleasantly surprised - I was captivated and moved. I was touched by the simplicity and innocent beauty of the story - and mesmerized by the goregous cinematography that did not rely on in-your-face effects but on tried and true, carefully planned blocking/framing that is as subtle as it is powerful.
This simple love story cut straight to the quick of what true love is really about and caused me to look at my own relationships, appreciating them more, realizing what things in life are truly important, and how today's trivial "problems" are not usually meaningful when it comes to the big picture.
I encourage you to see this film if given the opportunity. Don't be fooled by it's seemingly simple message - I believe you too will feel it's depth and appreciate it's beauty.
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Format: DVD
"The Road Home" is made by my favorite foreign director around today! I don't count Bergman because he just writes now. But Zhang Yimou, the director of this film, always manages to put such beauty into his films. Probably best known for films like "Not One Less", "Shanghai Traid", "Raise the Red Lantern", & "To Live". "The Road Home" follows in his tradition of making powerful, beautiful films.
I've seen about 60 films this year, and I know that's not a lot when compared to how many critics see. But, I think it's a pretty large amount when compared to the amount that the average movie fan goes to see. From everything I've seen this year, nothing has been able to express the passion of this film! No film has been as tender, poignant, & embarcive as this. I hate to admit this, for it's not really manly, but, I was misty by the end of the film. I've not seen a film that could do that to me in a long time.
Many bash this film saying, there's no story. It doesn't move. There's no point to it. How wrong they are. Of course there's a story to the film. I was watching something all that time lol. It's a very innocent, simple story that captivates it's audience. A young man, Yusheng (Honglei Sun) goes back home after hearing about the death of his father. A local school teacher, who helped build the very same school where he worked. His mother is grief-stricken, understandablely. There's an old tradition that after one dies, one must be brought back to where they lived. Only they must be brought back by foot! Other's must carry the coffin so the person's soul will remember how to get back home. Yusheng mother, will not give in. She demands that the townspeople follow the old tradition.
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Topic From this Discussion
Road Home Blu-Ray
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is now on blu-ray (and more deservingly so than "Curse of the Golden Flower"). Perhaps that means the wait for "The Road Home" blu-ray will end soon?
Sep 29, 2010 by JNagarya |  See all 5 posts
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