The Breaking Ice (2023)

The Breaking Ice (2023)

Three lost souls find a warm connection in this wintry, delicate drama

7.0

Movie

China, Singapore
English, Korean, Mandarin
Drama
2023
ANTHONY CHEN
Liu Baisha, Liu Haoran, Qu Chuxiao
97 min

TLDR

LF: New friends to frolic in the snow and alleviate my depression with.

What it's about

In Yanji, a city on China’s northern border, young Shanghai urbanite Haofeng meets charming tour guide Nana and likeable restaurant worker Xiao in a weekend that slowly thaws their heart’s desires.

The take

When travelling to another place, another city, another town, there’s a certain anonymity that frees one’s self. No one knows who you are, so you’re not expected to maintain a certain personality, and that can be necessary for young people trying to find their way. The Breaking Ice shows this in a fairly sentimental way, juxtaposing the wintry, snowy landscape with the warm but fleeting connection forming between three lonely adults, but there’s just something honest in the way the three try to hide but still share the same youthful ennui, even if they come from vastly different backgrounds. The Breaking Ice might not be daring enough to delve into the queer aspect of this trio, but it’s still a lovely, well-crafted drama contemplating the youth’s melancholy.

What stands out

Yanji isn’t a really big tourist spot, in part due to the cold, but it just looks so beautiful here that I’m considering the possibility of this film being a tourism ad.

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