Electric Shadows (2004)


Electric Shadows: “You cannot let the pass dictate your future…”

Words: Desmond Childs

*Author’s Note: I owe readers an apoology for this overdue review on a movie I promised to discuss over a month ago. With all of my things unpacked and settled in; I’m ready to get back to work.


In the spirit of nostalgia, Xiao Jiang brings us Electric Shadows; a tale of regret and sorrow. This movie takes the main protagonist’s problems and enhances them past the original limit. The heroine has to learn that she cannot change the past and that “closure” is the closest she could get to the relief she sought after.

Directed By:

Jia Yan (Xiao Jiang)


Jia Yan, whose is credited as Xiao Jiang for this film, wrote and directed Electric Shadows. One thing I noticed about her style here, is the nostalgic feel it gives off. You can’t help but wonder how much of Ms. Jia’s own childhood was embedded into this movie; with the setting and characters carrying an authenthic glow. The pacing is a little tiresome, where halfway through, I wanted to push the “fast-forward” button. The ending sequence of events wasn’t pulled off all that well, although the idea to tie the two stories together was a neat one. The movie’s payoff was a bittersweet and ultimately unearned “heart-string” tugger.

Reunion of the Hearts and Souls?

A film about the awakardly frantic life of a radio announcer. The town they live in spends the end of every night (at least it seemed like every night) watching movies on a giant projector screen. The movie nights were popular enough for mostly all of the citizens to attend (popcorn included). Soon, the girl’s mother has a child out of wedlock, and is thus shunned by the town and looked down upon. The follwing set of events chronicles their lives, with cult-like ritual of movie basically being a character in the movie itself; where many of the film’s more vital moments taking place. Personally, the film was engrossing for about an hour and 15 minutes; before it starts to drift and reach for some emotional moments. The good directors can bring those moments to you seamlessy; while the great ones weave those moments into already enticing works of art. Many of the sad moments in this film were done relatively well, although watching a child quietly stare into space does wear on you afterawhile. It’s a little lazy to hope the audience is going to feel for a little kid, just because she’s a kid. Luckily for this film, the lead actresses have enough charisma to make us all feel bad for them in their predicament. I even dug the little ugly guy friend who served as her tag-a-long for a part of the film. To summarize, Electric Shadows was a nice movie. I feel as though director, Jia Yan may have a flair for dramatic, epic, romance movies at her best; and cute, little tales of puppy-love, romantic comedies at her worst. Not a bad way to make a living. Wow, I think I just typed the longest sentence this year on this blog. Does that deserve a hand clap of praise?


Electric Shadows is available on Netflix’s “instant watch” feature. Check out the trailer below: