On a long haul flight, most likely from Hawaii back to Thailand, the BF binged watched Chinese movies while my nose was stuck in Norse Mythologies by Neil Gaiman. And after watching god-knows how many films, Beautiful Accident is what he remembered and recommended.
This was years ago, so that’s how long it’s taken me to watch the dang thing. Remember what I said about not watching many movies? Ye-ahhh.
But thanks to him, this wasn’t the first (non-mainstream American) Chinese film I’ve seen. When he was living in the middle-of-frickin-nowhere China, he discovered Jia Zhangke who he believes is the best director that depicts what it’s really like to live in the Middle Kingdom. And to be clear, Beautiful Accident is not one of Zhangke’s films, it’s a fantasy-comedy that the BF said would make me cry. (Thanks, honey!)
Although, what makes this movie resonate for me is, it feels like the right film at the right time. It’s about second chances, disasters turning into dreams, and being forced to change – for the better.
We watch characters in stories undergo necessary transformations so they can get that better job or boyfriend, but rarely are they ready for it when that shiny promise presents itself. So that’s when a push is needed, and in this case, Li Yuran has to unexpectedly die and return to life under utterly different circumstances.
It’s always fun to see how filmmakers depict afterlife, and Beautiful Accident is no exception. [I’d share the international movie trailer, but like so many they tragically tell the whole story in it. No thank you!]
But to paint the broad strokes of the storyline, tough lawyer Li Yuran is in an accident that sends her to The Terminal of Fate (love that) where it is discovered that she is here too soon. In other words, she wasn’t supposed to die yet, but since she’s here, could she help out and play this other woman’s life for about a week, and then they’ll send her back to her old life.
I don’t think the movie will surprise you; in fact, I was waiting for the predicable ending, but it reminded me of how opportunities are only grasped and appreciated when you are ready for them. If we could see our lives from a higher vantage point, I wonder how many times our lives would have spared or meaningful encounters missed because we were too busy with something else. Of course, there are times when we get it right, too. How insane would that be! to watch your life like a movie, choices and all.
Beautiful Accident is a tragedy turned comedy turned romance. It won’t win any awards or accolades, but it won my heart, and made me think about life’s unexpected turns and twists, and the blessings that can be around the corner, if only we remember to look around and pay attention.
Have you seen Beautiful Accident (or seen other stories about second chances)?