Nian finds her life at a standstill when facing relentless bullying from her peers as she prepares for her college entrance exam. Fate brings her together with small-time criminal Bei, but before they can retreat into a world of their own, both are dragged into the middle of a murder investigation that will change their lives forever.
What We Thought:
At first I wasn’t really into Better Days. I’m not the target audience for a movie about bullying. I sat there wondering when this young girl would actually stand up for herself or finally say something about what was going on.
Then the movie shifts after the main girl meets a young boy. Then it becomes a pretty solid revenge drama. I don’t know if I loved the ending, but once the movie switches direction it got a lot better.
For some reason bullying became a hot topic over the past 10 plus years almost like it never happened before then. Sure in the age of social media and cameras recording everything bullying has entered the age of technology but kids getting picked on, beat up and hazed has always happened. Movies have exploded over the topic and I can’t name a single one I’ve enjoyed.
Fortunately this one does shift like previously mentioned. Once she meets the young criminal boy, she has someone who supports her and wants to help. She finally fights back and when one of her bullies winds up dead, it becomes a drama about who actually killed the girl and who will take the fall for it. It changes from her being a mousy girl trying to study for her exam and stay unnoticed to someone who’s finally had enough.
I don’t know if I’m familiar with anyone in Better Days, but I think others might be. The one actor is a C-Pop superstar and well I have no idea what that is. It won all kinds of awards in its native China so maybe the director has a following there. I liked the movie more when it became about revenge and trying to escape than I did about life being tough at school.