While “The Breaking Ice” paints a picture of cold landscapes, it radiates surprising warmth, underscored by the beautifully executed cinematography and montage. The movie deliberately contrasts these snowy images with its characters’ intense and emotional journeys. Indeed, the wide shots of the icy scenes are mixed with intimate close-ups, capturing the expansive yet personal feel of the narrative.
The individual struggles of Haofeng, Nana, and Xiao resonate with the audience. Just as Haofeng’s watch stops and his phone disappears, symbolizing a detachment from time and space, viewers are also invited to this timeless pursuit of freedom, personally engaging with the narrative. The freedom’s borders, both literal and metaphorical, are masterfully depicted. Scenes like the one where a shower curtain separates Haofeng and Nana illustrate their freedom’s simultaneous closeness and distance.
However, while beautifully portrayed, this motif of freedom sometimes steers into an overabundance, making viewers feel the complexity of various emotions. Although potentially disorienting, such chaotic simultaneity could be director Anthony Chen’s intent. Chen lets the audience navigate this personal journey, grapple with feelings of loss, yearning, and freedom, and derive their corresponding interpretations.
“The Breaking Ice” is not just a film; it’s a shared experience. While it may leave one lost in its vastness of feelings and emotions, it assures the viewers of the shared warmth and companionship in the search for one’s freedom. In its intricate construction, the movie fosters a deep sense of relatability and comfort, asserting that no one is alone in their journey despite the nuanced barriers that set us apart.