In search of her roots
Ticket Family drama
Set against the lush greenery of rural China, Ticket is a touching, but cliched, story about a woman's quest to find her roots.
Directed by Jacob Cheung Chi-leung (of A Battle of Wits fame), Ticket is based on a short story of the same name by renowned Taiwanese writer Lee Chia-tung.
Mainland actress Zuo Xiaoqing plays Yutong, a young TV journalist who grew up in a remote Catholic church in Tibet after she was abandoned on the church's doorstep as a baby. Veteran Hong Kong actress Cecilia Yip Tong plays the caring nun who looks after Yutong as her own child.
The film opens with an adult Yutong in a delivery room filming and reporting on a mother giving birth to a baby diagnosed with heart disease.
Even though it is not certain the baby will live, the woman - backed by her devoted husband - insists on giving birth.
This emotional scene, showing a mother's boundless love, sets Yutong off on a quest to find her biological mother.
A train ticket left in the baby clothes she was wearing when her mother abandoned her at the church is the only clue to her origin.
Determined to find out what drove her parents to give her away, Yutong travels on mountain roads and through sprawling rural landscapes in the company of her childhood buddy Zhixuan (played by Taiwanese heartthrob Wu Chi-lung).
We discover why her mother was forced to abandon her daughter. We see sentimental scenes with the mother - whose face is never shown - walking back to Yunnan from Tibet after abandoning her child, and hiding in the crowd to get a glimpse of her daughter at her Beijing graduation ceremony.
Perhaps the movie's final scene, where Yutong's report on the mother giving birth to the baby with heart disease is shown at a train station, sums up the movie's message of parental love and sacrifice. However, it feels more like another attempt to make viewers cry.
Ticket opens in local theatres on October 23