‘Home Coming’ shows courage and wisdom of Chinese diplomats


Sabrina Jiang

Photo of “Home Coming” actors Wang Junkai (left), Zhang Yi (right) in an intense scene.

Sabrina Jiang

Chinese drama film ”Home Coming,” released to the U.S. on Oct. 21, chronicles the story of two unarmed Chinese diplomats lead 125 Chinese citizens from war-wrecked Republic of Numea back to China safely, beautiful in direction and design, yet lacking in plot and substance. 

“Home Coming” was directed by Rao Xiaozhi and stars Zhang Yi, Wang Junkai and Yin Tao. The film premiered in China on Sep. 30, and released on Oct. 21  in the U.S. 

The film follows Chinese diplomats Zong Dawei and Cheng Lang, revealing their ability to serve well in their roles, but also their qualities in putting the interests of the country and the people before themselves when encountering difficulties.

Zong Dawei is an experienced diplomat, but at the same time he is an ordinary person who is afraid of death. From him, we can see the real cowardly side of human nature. Cheng Lang is a newcomer diplomat who is uplight, fearless of hardships and dangers, but he seems immature in his approach.

The complementary characters of the two make the plot development of the movie reasonable. I like these two characters because they both put their own interest away and show their bravery and determination to lead the Chinese to evacuate.

However, it is these two ordinary people with their own shortcomings who show extraordinary courage and strategy, and tried their best to protect Chinese citizens from the war-torn zone when facing war, turmoil and death in a foreign country.

The differences in experience and concepts between the two characters bring conflicts in the plot, which become the narrative power of the film and the engine that drives the plot forward.

The movie shows the scenes of the war very realistically through shooting with realistic footage and restoring the war scenes as much as possible which made it hard to look directly at some scenes. For example, the scene of Secretary Zhang Ning being shot in the heart by a bullet in the war made me dare not look directly.

Actor Zhang Yi’s superb acting skills showed the fear of death of an ordinary person as a father and husband, but in the end he chose to stand up for the overseas Chinese compatriots and lead them back to the motherland. 

Unfortunately, the storyline is a bit monotonous and the emotions of the characters are not rich enough. For example, Cheng Lang does not have any emotional scenes except when he is coming home, making the story kind of boring and less engaging. 

Some plots can be easily guessed by the viewer, which makes the storyline feel less innovative. For example, in one scene Cheng Lang and Zhang Yi argue over whether they should tell the Chinese that they may not have a rescue force in Dilat, and it is easily predictable that Lang will listen to Yi in the end, lacking any sense of suspense.

This movie shows a side of diplomat work that many people don’t know. If you want to know the real story of evacuation through a movie, I highly recommend “Home Coming.”

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars