Premiere | "Wandering Blade": Wang Qianyuan's performance this time doesn't seem like acting at all

    On May 10, the movie "Wandering Blade" held its premiere in Beijing with the theme of "Get rid of evil as soon as possible!" Director Chen Zhuo, screenwriter Yang Weiwei, and starring actors Wang Qianyuan, Qi Xi, Zhang Youhao, Wang Tianchen, Zhou Zhengjie, and Aruna attended the event to share behind-the-scenes stories and filming moments. The movie is adapted from the controversial masterpiece of the same name by the famous Japanese mystery writer Keigo Higashino. It reinterprets the story of a juvenile delinquency and the victim's father seeking "extrajudicial justice" in the novel. It will be released nationwide on May 17.

    Group photo of the main creators

    In the film, the daughter of single father Li Changfeng (played by Wang Qianyuan), Li Qian (played by Wu Shuang), was tortured to death by three troubled teenagers, Xie Yu (played by Zhou Zhengjie), Wang Tianxiao (played by Aruna), and Luo Zhicheng (played by Zhang Youhao). After seeing the video of his daughter being brutally abused, the desperate father wailed, "The law will punish them, but it will also give them a chance..." and resolutely embarked on the road of revenge. On one side is a demonic teenager who ignores the law, and on the other side is a miserable father who is desperate for revenge. A contest between love and law begins...

    "The Wandering Blade" finalized poster

    When talking about the origin of the novel "Wandering Blade", Keigo Higashino once said, "As for why I wrote this work, I don't know the answer myself. If I have to say it, it is actually to put the inexplicable emotions surging in my heart into words. I tried hard to write an entertaining work, but in the end it turned out to be a heavy and sad story. But if it is written too lightly or brightly, it loses its practical significance."

    The upcoming movie "The Wandering Blade" is undoubtedly of great practical significance at the moment. In March this year, the news that "a first-year junior high school student in Handan, Hebei was bullied, killed and buried by three classmates" quickly exploded on the Internet, attracting widespread attention and "unsatisfied" from the world. According to the situation of cases involving women and children released by the Supreme People's Court on April 16, the number of juvenile crimes has generally shown an upward trend in the past three years. From 2021 to 2023, the people's courts concluded 73,178 juvenile crime cases and sentenced 98,426 juvenile criminals, accounting for 2% to 2.5% of all criminal offenders in the same period.

    Director Chen Zhuo said in his speech after the screening that it had been eight years since he first read the novel in 2016 and the film was released. "These eight years have also been a process of legal education for me. I did a lot of research before filming began. In the juvenile detention center, the prison guards showed me many cases, and I also saw many juvenile criminals in custody. There are many more cases than what we can see in news reports, and they are more shocking. This strengthened my determination to make this film with positive social value."

    Director Chen Zhuo

    Screenwriter Yang Weiwei recalled that eight years ago, the film was started in a five or six square meter office that Director Chen Zhuo temporarily rented. "At that time, whether it was the director, producer or the founding team composed of me, everyone was actually driven by a strong emotion - whether it was my own childhood experience or what we have experienced and seen over the years, cases of youth bullying and even vicious crimes are an urgent problem that the whole society must face." Chen Zhuo added that the "Wandering Blade" WeChat group established by the team eight years ago has not been disbanded to this day.

    "Every few years, or even every year, we are shocked by the cases of youth bullying in society," said Yang Weiwei. "A careful look at these cases reveals that many of the minors involved, the younger they are, have no sense of boundaries with laws and regulations, social order and morality, and they lack knowledge of or even completely ignore the value and meaning of life. As filmmakers, if we can use a vivid movie to generate widespread dissemination, we can let the world feel more intuitively and deeply that behind such news are broken families and the pain they suffer is unspeakable. If we can make everyone truly aware of where to target to solve the problem, we may be able to reduce the occurrence of such tragedies in the future," said Yang Weiwei.

    Screenwriter: Yang Weiwei

    Actor Wang Qianyuan plays the role of Li Changfeng, a father who lost his beloved daughter and then wields the "Blade of Wandering" against bad boys. In order to play this middle-aged man who takes extreme revenge and eventually goes to self-destruction, Wang Qianyuan's emaciated and bulging veins in the film are impressive. In his speech after the screening, he said that he could understand the character's actions emotionally, and he had to complete the character's physical shaping.

    "After filming the happy family life between Li Changfeng and his daughter in the early stage of the film, I began to focus on controlling my diet, including my sleep. Blood is connected to the heart, and any father facing such an unexpected disaster would definitely be heartbroken and unable to sleep. And on the set, the state and fatigue of an actor after sleeping for 10 hours and 4 hours are definitely different. In the later stage of filming, I realized that diet alone could not achieve the dehydrated and out-of-phase feeling of the character, so I adopted the water control method of bodybuilders and did not drink water for three or four days in a row - athletes do this to make the muscle lines clearer, and the reason I don't drink water is purely to show the feeling that the character is about to run out of energy. When I am particularly tired, I rinse my mouth with mineral water, let my mouth be covered with water, and then spit it out." Wang Qianyuan said that when he first joined the group, he still weighed 82 kilograms, and he was recognized by everyone for "torturing" himself like this, "worth it!"

    Starring Wang Qianyuan

    Screenwriter and director Zhang Ji said in a speech after the screening that he was encouraged by the scale presented in "The Wandering Blade". "This film explores the relationship between violence and identity. The violence of the father in the film is a natural resistance; the violent crimes of bad boys are also related to their undisciplined and uneducated families and the impulses of their age group; even He Jia, played by Qi Xi, who protected this father, can be seen as a metaphor for violence. The film presents an international feel through a deep exploration of the characters. Wang Qianyuan's performance this time does not seem like acting at all. The purely physiological struggle makes him and the character one. I almost can't recognize his face in the film."

    Actor Bao Beier said that he kept thinking about the relationship between the title "Wandering Blade" and the plot while watching the movie. "I found that the 'blade' is actually a metaphor. It represents the hesitation of the father in the shotgun at the last moment, whether to shoot or not. It also represents the hesitation of the police in the process of chasing the criminals, whether to shoot or not. More importantly, it has been four years since the filming of this movie, and many people are facing the choice of whether to keep it or not to show it."

    Stills from "The Wandering Blade"

    The ending song of the movie "Wandering Blade" "The One Waving at the Sky" was sung by Wang Feng. At the premiere, Wang Feng recalled that he gave this song to the director three years ago, "This song is actually about those people who will never meet again, and the longing between them. Every year I ask the director if the movie can be released? Because from the birth of this song to now, I have released two albums. Congratulations on the movie finally meeting the audience. It will definitely have a very good social significance. This song can finally appear in my album this year."


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