To Chinese who entered into Chinese middle school during the period from 1994 to 2001, when hearing the familiar names Li Lei and Han Meimei, it must be the English textbook which quickly occurs in his minds.

The two micro films Li Lei, 2012 (李雷的2012) and Han Meimei, 2013 (韩梅梅的2013) are based on the illustrations of junior English textbook in the 1990s, creatively making up a fantastic story about Li Lei and Han Meimei, two classic characters in the illustration.

At the beginning of Li Lei, 2012, the character Li Lei’s soliloquy has already shocked the audience. He said, “…I once loved Han Meimei.…” The lines exceed the audience’s expectation. In the old textbook, the two figures are just classmates. Their dialogues are usually stiff and boring—“How are you?” “I am fine, thank you. And you?” However, in this film, their relationship turns into lovers from classmates.

Li Lei and Han Meimei fell in love, but in China, puppy love was forbidden. Han gave Li a ticket and asked Li to run away with her, but out of pressure, Li did not meet Han in the appointed place. From then on, Han disappeared. If the story ends here, the film is just a short predictable love story. Nevertheless, the screenwriter obviously is not willing to finish the story with the normal ending. Therefore, in the second half of the film, he changes the plot into a suspenseful and disaster one. Han Meimei’s true identity is agent. Her task is to find the cream of Chinese middle school students and bring them to the ark before the catastrophe destroys the world. The ticket she previously gave Li was the ticket to the ark.

The first film ends in the moment that Li sends a message to Han Meimei before the flood submerges him. But, the matter is more than what we see in the first film. Han Meimei, 2013, the supplement of Li Lei, 2012, exposes the truth in detail, surprising the audience again.

Shu Pengqian

About Shu Pengqian

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Shu Pengqian is a TV drama and novel addict. Although most people think she looks like an introvert, she's actually really outgoing.

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