When he receives word of the passing of his father Luo Changyu, Luo Yusheng (Honglei Sun) returns home to a small village to assist with funeral arrangements and support his mother. Luo has been away for quite some time and is regarded by village members as a successful and wealthy businessman. As Luo catches up with familiar faces and old friends, he better understands his mother’s wishes for the funeral. His mother, Zhao Di (Yulian Zhao), insists that his father’s body is returned to the village by people carrying him home, and no other means are acceptable. Zhao Di believes that if he isn’t carried all the way home, his soul may get lost, and he will be unable to return home to his true love.
At first, Luo attempts to change his mother’s mind. At the same time, Luo hears his mother’s heart and is reminded of the stories he was once told about how his mother and father first fell in love with one another. The film then goes back in time, and we witness first-hand when Luo’s parents first meet, allowing us to see how Luo Changyu (Hao Zheng) and a young Zhao Di (Ziyi Zhang) handled their affections and the romantic road they took together, leading them to a long-term life of love that could never be broken.
The Road Home is, in fact, a beautiful love story and drama film. It’s a film that can easily capture a viewer’s heart regardless of age and shares a story of first love between two young hearts, the feelings that occur with it, and the chase and pursuit. We also witness the many challenges the two face, particularly Zhao Di. The Road Home also contains moments that are fun and uplifting, mainly as we see Zhao Di do various things to try and catch the attention of a man she wants to draw nearer to, such as making him tasty food and wandering around some regions of the village with hopes of bumping into him to strike up a new conversation.
Visuals, like the story, are beautiful. The film opens with a black and white presentation, but as soon as Luo begins to narrate and tell the story of his mother and father’s past, the picture instantly changes to full colour, which I felt was a great creative choice. Love, after all, is a colourful world, and with Luo’s mother dealing with the recent loss of her beloved husband, a black-and-white visual felt highly fitting given the sad nature and themes of Luo’s return home and family situation.
The pacing here is excellent, and although viewers already know that Luo’s parents will come together at some point, the pursuit and journey the two share is incredibly entertaining and uplifting. The setting changes throughout to show the passage of time, including autumn and winter, which may seem minor but enhances the story. At various moments, I found the story to be unpredictable, but even when the story seemed slower, I was still fully engaged by the many beautiful locations throughout the film.
Overall, if you’re seeking a romantic journey of young love, The Road Home is one for you. Even when the outcomes are apparent, the journey of the main leads is filled with wonder and unpredictability. The highly creative and clever visuals successfully bring a setting and atmosphere to life that is highly captivating even when very little is occurring with the main story. Ultimately, it’s impossible not to walk away from this film without feeling either inspired or uplifted. It truly is beautiful.