Ruan Tian carefully watched this new film starring Shi An from beginning to end. For two whole hours, she muddled through the clouds and fog and watched the entire thing.
However, it seemed that Ruan Tian was the most patient audience member in her theater, because all around her the other members of the audience were either falling asleep or cursing out “What the hell is this? !” before leaving angrily.
When the movie finally ended, the theater which had been completely full at the start had less than half the seats filled.
Moreover, even these people who had stayed to the end seemed to be quite upset. One man commented angrily to his friend beside him: “What a waste of time. I might as well have just sat in the dorm and done my maths homework for two hours.”
Where had the two hours gone? Who would want to come to see a movie like this?
On the side, Ruan Tian nodded along sympathetically. Calling this movie a “literary film” was really stretching the term. It was more like a completely unfiltered stream of consciousness.
It seemed the man still hadn’t let all his anger out, because he continued in a loud voice, “It’s just too hard to watch!”
In the end, the first batch of people who came out of the theaters all gave their ratings without hesitation and, as a result, by the time it was noon, the film’s score on popular review sites had already dipped to a 6 out of 10.
These should be the lowest scores any film made by Director Shao had ever received on the first day.
Of course, at the same time, the internet water armies hired by Shi An’s team were praising the film to the high heavens on Weibo, going so far as to call it a soul-shaking and heart-cleansing experience.
In stark contrast, the scores on various movie review websites were only getting lower and lower as time went on.
By the time the second day rolled around, the ticket sales had already been cut in half.
And by the third day, the anger of the audience members who had been deceived by all the false marketing could no longer be suppressed.
On many sites, scores were dropping below 6 and were heading towards 5, and even the most forgiving review site that was run by the platform that sold the tickets issued an unusually low score of 6.9.
The netizens were in an uproar and began to lob all sorts of criticism at the screenwriters and directors of the film. However, at first, no one really scolded Shi An. After all, they were mostly angered by the confusing and inexplicable plot, so they didn’t have time to bare their fangs at the comparatively well-behaved lead actress.
Even Ruan Tian didn’t expect the angry backlash to be so vigorous. She even privately speculated that Director Shao might have owed his investors money? If not for such a reason, why would he ever film such a thing?
Ruan Tian could be considered to have a good relationship with Shao Chengyue, Director Shao’s son, so she sent him a message over WeChat: 【Have you seen the movie? 】
Shao Chengyue replied quickly: 【I saw it. 】
Then he continued succinctly: 【Very hard to watch. 】
Ruan Tian realized that Shao Chengyue may not need her comfort.
After that, the two chatted for a while over WeChat until Shao Chengyue’s assistant interrupted them and told his boss to put down his phone and get ready to shoot.
Meanwhile, Ruan Tian’s first film, ‘Motes of Dust’ had finally finished editing and had come back from the review board, and was now set to release in a week’s time.
The people behind the film didn’t launch an all-pervasive publicity campaign, instead, they simply announced the release date alongside a poster with the main protagonists on it.
Besides the well-known crew, there was nothing else about this film that seemed particularly noteworthy to outsiders.
Moveover, Director Shao’s most recent film had just finished its debut and had been taught a harsh lesson by the audiences at the box office, so many people in the industry weren’t too optimistic about Director Cheng’s new film.
The myth of these directors being unbeatable at the box office had already been broken.
Thus, many members of the industry just quietly watched from the sidelines, and only a few directors with good personal relations with Director Cheng gave him some face and came forward to give his upcoming film some publicity.
Meanwhile, in the fashion circle, the chief editors at many magazines had a low opinion of Ruan Tian and all decided to just watch on and wait to see her make a joke of herself. They were completely unwilling to lend a hand with the publicity campaign.
When Ruan Tian saw the poster released by the film crew she fell into a daze. Her mind was suddenly pulled back to the muggy summer, that dilapidated office building, the desperate, dark alleyways of the set…
She stared at herself on the poster for a long time and a strange feeling stirred in her heart.
The numbness in her own eyes on the poster made Ruan Tian feel a little bit scared.
How had she ever managed to enter that mindstate?
She had nearly forgotten all about it now, but seeing the poster made it come rushing back.
But after a moment, Ruan Tian snapped back to her senses and she posted a brief message promoting the film to her Weibo: 【This is Jiang Wan from ‘Motes of Dust’, I’ll see you all in theaters! 】
tl begging corner:
(tl note: Jiang Wan is her character in the film in case you’ve forgotten.)