Graduation season is here, and thousands of new degree holders are scrambling to find work and housing in the capital.
Released just in time to capitalize on that anxiety, Unforgettable Blast hit theaters on May 22. While most review sites bear a wall of negative comments, recent graduates say the film helped to temper their optimism about the job market.
Ye Su, Zhang Yixian and Huang Dazhong decide to stay in the big city to look for work and love. Like most young people, they graduate with the misguided belief that a bachelor’s degree and hard work is all it takes to get ahead.
After many rounds of interviews, the only work the three can find fails to appeal to their passion or interest. Moreover, the notoriously tough times experienced by new graduates seem to catch them completely off guard.
The three enter a world of overtime, harsh criticism and bullying colleagues. It’s a sad and familiar place where pointless proposals, ineffective team building exercises and the last train home are the norm.
Ye is dumped by his rich girlfriend and quits his job to protect his pride, Zhang is fired by his boss and Huang Dazhong leaves the company for friendship.
The distance between dreams and reality lead the three young men to start their own business selling sugarcane.
The theme of the film is one of its main selling points and the basis of its few positive reviews.
The whole story is told in a semi- humorous fashion that balances out its harsh message. The use of a three-man lineup led many viewers to draw comparisons to the 2013 film American Dreams in China, a film about three men’s road to success and friendship. It was also compared with Indian film 3 Idiots in 2011 for its similar style of acting.
Though some viewers were disappointed by the imitation of the former films, the location and actors make Unforgettable Blast unique.
The film was shot on the small streets where locals live. For many viewers, the housing was especially familiar and helped bring the film’s message home.
In an industry awash in youth films that feature beautiful actresses, Unforgettable’s plain characters helped to ground its story. Its refusal to reduce abortion to a cheap plot point was also a welcomed shift.
Younger viewers said they were impressed with the hardship and complexity of the work environment. The harsh line “Without me you wouldn’t have a job” also captured the one-sided relationship that is employment in China.