DARK MATTER is a film that will polarize audiences: for those who seek
understanding of the clashes between science and 'religion' and the
matrix from which tragedy grows the film will appeal, and for the
audiences who demand tidy stories with happy resolutions the film will
not please. Apparently 'based on true events', this story has many
layers that invite discussion and reveals some facts about the American
Academia that many would rather not know.
Liu Xing (Ye Liu) comes from a poor family in Beijing, but rises to hopeful heights due to his exceptional scientific intelligence and is invited to a prestigious university to study with Cosmology professor Jacob Reiser (Aidan Quinn), the author of the Reiser String Theory - the entire universe is tied into a compact single ball of cosmic wax. Liu Xing encounters initial success not only academically but also as a fresh young student, barely able to speak English, who is taken under the wing of the kind matron of Chinese culture, Johanna Silver (Meryl Streep). Liu Xing develops his own theory that the universe is united by massive amounts of unseen Dark Matter. When the student's theory conflicts with Reiser's theory, the negative results begin to affect each of the characters: Liu Xing sees his dream of earning a PhD in Cosmology and winning the Nobel Prize for his theory destroyed by the powers of academia and as he watches his fellow Chinese students succeed, he is plagued with low self esteem as he attempts to support his family in Beijing with money earned selling cosmetics door to door. The downfall of a simple genius destroyed by the inner workings of academia leads to unimaginable tragedy.
Billy Shebar's screenplay tinkers with the story's credibility with a heavy dose of sentimentality at times, but director Shi-Zheng Chen keeps the story moving by allowing the audience to witness frequent glimpses of Liu Xing's humble Beijing home life. The star of the film is the very talented Ye Liu, but Streep and Quinn carry their rather minor roles with great dignity and understatement. This is a moving story, too frequently repeated in our campuses to overlook. There is much more to this film than first viewings reveal. Grady Harp
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
Loosely inspired by the true story of Gang Lu, a Chinese physics student, but with substantial differences in plot and character motivation, the film stars Liu Xing (Liu Ye), as a humble, but brilliant, Chinese student, who arrives at Valley State University and makes a bumpy transition into American life with the help of Joanna Silver (Meryl Streep), a wealthy university patron who takes a liking to the young student. Xing joins a select cosmology group under the direction of his hero, the famous cosmologist Professor Jacob Reiser (Aidan Quinn). The group is working to create a model of the origins of the universe, based on Reiser's theory. Xing's enormous talent leads him quickly to become Reiser's prot
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February 07, 2017 at 11:18 PM