Analysis of Irony and Coincidence in Suzhou River

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Lou Ye departs drastically from other contemporaries of Beijing Film Academy, takes an abrupt swing from the downbeat realism that characterizes their works, and embarks on a mystical treatment of the theme. He employs irony and elements of coincidence in portraying the theme of love in a complex and obscure manner that makes the movie a mysterious enigma for the audience.The movie deals with the romance between Mardar and Moudan, as narrated by an unnamed videographer. Mardar, a motorcycle courier runs the errand of riding Moudan from her father’s residence to a relative’s place whenever the father wants to engage in his assignations. The girlish Moudan, young an adventurous, asks him to drive like Schwarzenegger. (Ye, Lou). The couple falls in love but tragedy strikes in their lives in the form of Mardar’s betrayal of her. Mardar is associated with the criminal underworld and is forced to kidnap Moudan on the instructions of the gang he belongs to, in order to extract money from her father. Moudan learns about Mardar’s deceit, and heartbroken, she jumps into Suzhou River and disappears. Mardar is arrested for complicity in the incident and sentenced to imprisonment. When he returns he meets Meimei, a look-alike of Moudan, who works as a night club performer, dressed up as a mermaid. Mardar believes she is Moudan, and wants to seduce her. The videographer who is obsessed with Moudan tries to drive Mardar out of town. Tragedy strikes again when the couple gets consumed the metaphorical river. The mystic play of love and obsession between Mardar and Moudan, and the videographer and Meimei, between Meimei and Mardar, further underline the complexity of love, makes it impossible for the viewer to exactly know whether Meimei is actually Moudan’s reincarnation or just Mardar’s illusion or whether Moudan’s story is real or just a fictitious one.Lou Ye uses irony to good effect in alluding to the complexity of