Lost in the Stars (2022) poster
8.2
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 742 users
# of Watchers: 1,659
Reviews: 8 users
Ranked #1340
Popularity #6274
Watchers 742

He Fei's wife, Li Mu Zi, disappeared mysteriously during their wedding anniversary trip. While he was searching for Mu Zi, she appeared again out of nowhere, but he insists that the strange woman in front of him is not his wife. Lawyer Chen Mai gets involved in this bizarre case, and more mysteries slowly emerge. (Source: Chinese = Douban || Translation = MyDramaList) ~~ Release dates: Dec 25, 2022 (Festival) || Jun 22, 2023 (Online/Cinema) Edit Translation

  • English
  • ภาษาไทย
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • עברית / עִבְרִית
  • Country: China
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Dec 25, 2022
  • Duration: 2 hr. 1 min.
  • Score: 8.2 (scored by 742 users)
  • Ranked: #1340
  • Popularity: #6274
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Where to Watch Lost in the Stars

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Cast & Credits

Photos

Lost in the Stars (2022) photo
Lost in the Stars (2022) photo
Lost in the Stars (2022) photo
Lost in the Stars (2022) photo
Lost in the Stars (2022) photo
Lost in the Stars (2022) photo

Reviews

Completed
PeachBlossomGoddess Flower Award1
9 people found this review helpful
Aug 20, 2023
Completed 10
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.5

It was a dark and starry night.

This movie opens with Hitchcockian flair as a man frantically begs indifferent local authorities on an exotic island getaway to find his missing wife. It was a dark and starry night the last time He Fei saw his wife Li Muzi. And his recollections seem fragmented, distorted by drugs and alcohol. The plot thickens as a seductive lady in red charmingly asserts she is his wife Li Muzi and can prove it. He Fei enlists Chen Mai, a high powered lawyer in a race against time to expose the imposter and find his wife. It is quite clear there is an elaborate grift at play but it is not clear who is pulling the strings.

Despite the strong and intriguing start, the plot reveals itself too early. The sense of mystery collapses abruptly as too many too obvious clues are dropped that point to a very predictable and done before whodunit plot. The drama's tone swiftly switches into dark comedy that ventures too far into the realm of the outlandish and absurd as the perpetrator is trapped into telling all. At that point it becomes a tragicomic story of addiction, deceit, greed, and revenge.

Zhu Yilong steals the show with his riveting portrayal of the many facets of He Fei. He made me feel scared, angry and sad. The high point in terms of tension, chemistry and suspense is the cat and mouse between He Fei and Janice Man's imposter. I could feel the air sizzle with between them as they taunt each other. Unfortunately even though Ni Ni's portrayal is on par with Zhu Yilong's in terms of charisma and nuance, there is simply no chemistry or tension of any sort between them. Their moments of confrontation and conflict are flawlessly executed on both parts but somehow there is no feeling of intense connection or conflict between them. This is not incompatible with their respective characters and what they are about but with no shade on either actor, I think this is just not a great pairing. I also find the supporting cast a bit lacking and think they should have minimized the use of English in the movie.

Despite its flaws, this is a highly entertaining movie. As a big suspense watcher, it falls short of my expectations in the latter half but I still enjoyed it well enough overall. This is China's 2023 summer hit that makes for a very fun watch. My rating 7/10.

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Completed
urbanefigment
6 people found this review helpful
Jun 30, 2023
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

Only Through Lies Can the Audience Get a Glimpse of the Truth

Lost in the Stars is a superbly made suspense/thriller film by relative newcomer director duo Cui Rui and Liu Xiang, but bears the fingerprints of its producer/screenwriter, Chen Sicheng, as well. Where Chen Sicheng's Detective Chinatown series is more humorous, however, Lost in the Stars takes a decidedly darker turn, and makes the viewer question and re-question what they actually know as the narrative unfolds.

Set in the fictional Southeast Asian country Belandia (or Bankal, if the film's signs are to be believed), He Fei (Zhu Yilong) is a bedraggled man begging an apathetic police force to look for his wife, Li Muzi (Huang Ziqi), who has been missing for over half a month. With his visa expiring in a few days, he has precious little time to find her. This missing person case then takes a turn for the unexpected when a woman shows up claiming to be her (Janice Man), with all signs pointing to the fact that she is, in fact, He Fei's wife. Finding himself entangled in an increasingly complicated web of conspiracy and deceit, his only saving grace is big shot lawyer Chen Mai (Ni Ni). Nothing is as it seems, however, as one by one the mysteries get peeled back, revealing a truth that was, perhaps, best left hidden.

Cinematographically, Lost in the Stars is a visual feast, with a distinctive flair that is engaging and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Fast cuts, unconventional camera movements, and bright colors underscore the lively setting and enhance the fast pacing, while also juxtaposing the actual tone of the film. There is barely room to breathe, with one thing happening after the other; while it can get exhausting, it adds to the experience. The audience is dragged along for the ride as much as He Fei is. The few moments of reprieve come in the form of flashbacks, at once more muted in color and slower in pacing. The score is beautifully crafted to reflect these scenes as well as the characters' emotional states.

Plot-wise, it is a well-written film with a complex mystery that keeps you guessing. There're hints throughout the movie, foreshadowing that is easy (or, easier) to catch on a rewatch, but with twists and turns that sometimes make it feel like the ground gets dropped out from under you. Unlike the hallmark of a good detective, which is that you can figure it out alongside the character(s), Lost in the Stars' intrigue that keeps you guessing is what makes it shine. There are parts that are "predictable", but only insofar that any suspense film will have tropes they rely on. Don't try to figure out what will happen, the experience is rewarding whether you overthink it or not. Even the things that initially don't seem to make sense, do tend to get explained; the few plot holes (if you can even call them that, they're more like... plot dents) are easy to overlook and shouldn't take away from the audience's enjoyment of the film. In fact, what happened to suspension of disbelief? Sometimes a thing not making sense is because it's a movie and not real life. The only real gripe I have is that they at times lean (too) heavily on ableist and racist stereotypes for the sake of plot.

Beyond the writing and cinematography, however, is the acting. Leading man Zhu Yilong has surpassed himself again in this film, showing a layered, multifaceted performance as He Fei. An attentive husband, a scheming bastard, a desperate gambler, a man on the edge (a man who has jumped over it a long time ago)... His nuanced portrayal sets the bar for the rest of the cast, who at times seem like they can barely catch up. While the ensemble all did great jobs, it is not an exaggeration to say that they paled in comparison to Zhu Yilong's force majeure (Ni Ni, his main co-star, I felt gave as good as she got, though).

When reviews first came out after the film was screened at the Hainan International Film Festival late last year, someone wrote that if you thought he was good in Lighting Up the Stars (a film which netted him not only his first Golden Rooster nom, but also the win), you hadn't seen him yet in Lost in the Stars. Having now seen and loved both, I am forced to agree. The many faces of He Fei leave the viewer pondering; not just the character and the film itself, but also human nature at large. There's a depth to Zhu Yilong's portrayal that seems almost wasted compared to what some of the minor characters were doing.

It's also a shame that there was more chemistry between the side characters than the leads. This is not to say that there was none between the leads, but when you get to the Manman and Li Muzi scenes, it feels more "real"... Or maybe that's by design, considering that the film builds up these characters as lying liars who lie and with every lie that gets uncovered there are more taking their place.

TL;DR: Lost in the Stars is a very compelling suspense movie. It is not just about the mystery behind the disappearance of He Fei's wife (and her(?) subsequent reappearance), it is about the lies we tell ourselves and others, and whether we keep believing them or not. It's a thought-provoking film that is absolutely worth a watch (and perhaps a rewatch).

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Details

  • Movie: Lost in the Stars
  • Country: China
  • Release Date: Dec 25, 2022
  • Duration: 2 hr. 1 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 8.2 (scored by 742 users)
  • Ranked: #1340
  • Popularity: #6274
  • Watchers: 1,659

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