Like the title drink, Green Tea is quite simple and barely wets the palate. However, the superb performances by Wei Zhao and Wen Jiang, along Yuan Zhang's luscious cinematography and direction, more than compensates for the flimsy plot.
On a canvas of titillating colors and sounds, an unorthodox love story unfolds frame by frame between Wu Feng (played by Wei Zhao), a conservative and mysterious graduate student who displaces her loneliness with blind dates, and Cheng (played by Wen Jiang), a heart-broken man attempting erase the pain from his recently failed relationship. This art house film mostly revolves around their platonic meetings at local coffee shops. Wu Feng reveals more about her "friend's" troubled childhood with every meeting. Cheng is drawn to her but she doesn't know why. The two tango on the screen; with every encounter, Wu Feng retreats as Cheng persistently advances. Her retreats torment him and he eventually finds solace in Lang (played by Wei Zhao), a stunning and seductive piano player who remarkably resembles Wu Feng. Lang denies any association with Wu Feng but the similarities between the two characters and inexplicable coincidences make everyone, including Cheng and the audience, wonder whether or not Lang and Wu Feng are the same person. Split-personality disorder anyone? The tango ends with Yuan Zhang leaving all loose ends open for interpretation.
Watching Green Tea is like staring at a vivid abstract painting. Despite its alluring beauty, this painting may do nothing more than tickle your senses, leaving you to reflect on the artist's message and intentions.