Critically acclaimed or not, well received by audiences or not, the film Up in the Wind is undoubtedly going to be compared with Love Is Not Blind, the 2011 dark horse of Chinese cinema.
From the same director (Teng Huatao) and the same screenwriter (Bao Jingjing), Up in the Wind even has a similar theme to Love Is Not Blind: A female white-collar who is at a low point in her life meets the seemingly annoying male protagonist. With his company and care, she gradually finds her confidence again.
In the film, the pair is young food columnist Cheng Yumeng (Ni Ni) and Wang Can (Jing Boran), an ignorant yet loving member of the rich second generation. Together with a few other friends from different backgrounds, they go on a trip to Nepal.
In the form of a road movie, Up in the Wind follows the spiritual healing trip of these young people drifting in big cities, and looks deep into their state of mind.
Fortunately, we see the film continuing with what made Love Is Not Blind a success: relatable instead of grandiose, funny but not ridiculous, emotional but not pretentious, a low-budget film that is really smart in its marketing.
The first part of the film’s slogan says, “It’s no chicken soup for the soul”, maybe in an attempt to avoid being too preachy. But essentially, the film is indeed a “chicken soup”. And it’s not a bad thing at all, because unlike one filled with artificial ingredients, Up in the Wind is a soup made with real substance.
No particular emphasis on timeless romance, sorrowful farewell, or great awakening, the film takes more of a moderate approach. For some, this unusual angle may make the film seem unfocused. But that’s what I like most about it. And no, Cheng and Wang don’t end up falling in love with each other, because the film is larger than that.
片中并未刻意突出永恒的爱情、悲伤的离别、亦或是发人深省的主题，更多地是走一条温和路线。 对一些人而言，这种与众不同的拍摄角度使得该片有些摸不着重点，但这正是我最欣赏的地方 。程羽蒙和王灿最终没有陷入爱河，因为相对于谈情说爱，电影有着更深刻的主题。
Teng’s perseverance with his down-to-earth theme and authentic style should be applauded, especially in today’s film scene, in which many filmmakers look for a shortcut to fame and fortune.
In the film, when the trip ends, everyone returns to their normal life. The trip neither changes who they are nor enlightens them from deep within. But some memory will be there forever, striking a chord once in a while and reminding them of the way they were. That’s what Up in the Wind is really about.