Upcoming Summer on Netflix is a teen drama that offers a rather fresh perspective on love, both young and old. Directed by Leste Chen and written by Leste Chen, the film primarily focuses on the story of two high school teenagers, Chen Chen and Zheng Yu Xing who due to certain incidents cross paths and face their harsh realities together. This Chinese drama is set against the backdrop of incidents that feel so tangible to our lives that we end up evaluating our perspective on love.
Zhang Zifeng plays Chen Chen and ‘China’s Little Brother’ Leo Wu Lei who plays Zheng Yu Xing along with cast member Hao Lei who is seen in the role of Chen Chen’s mother. Upcoming Summer has a runtime of 1 hour 50 minutes and you’d enjoy every bit of it.
– Netflix’s Upcoming Summer review contains mild spoilers –
Upcoming Summer: Falling in Love
Chen Chen is a model student, who right before her exams is confronted with some jarring realities about her parents which affect her exams’ outcomes and makes her repeat the senior year. Zheng Yu Xing does not even sit for the final exams tending to his broken heart that makes him repeat the senior year too. Both Chen and Zheng far apart in their worlds are forced to come together when Chen Chen weaves a lie at her house about having a breakup with Zheng Yu Xing that made her perform badly in the exams.
This fabric of lie gives rise to the school, teachers and their parents to take notice, only to bring the duo closer. Chen Chen with the help of Zheng Yu Xing tries to rile up her mother, a product of some information Chen Chen’s mother has been hiding from her. Zheng Yu Xing, on the other hand, uses Chen Chen to get back at his ex-girlfriend Ming. As Chen Chen tries to help out Zheng, she slowly but surely starts developing feelings for him.
During the course of the film, we see these young, naive kids transition from their world of colours to the real world where the blues dominate the yellow sunshine of life. It is uncanny to find them talk about love and understand the pain that comes along with it. For a youth drama, Upcoming Summer really grills in the evolving perspectives of teenage years and the time when teenagers cross the threshold to adult life.
Another essential angle to the film is provided by Chen Chen’s mother who looks out for the well being of her daughter, even though her situation demands her to put on a false smile. She not only provides Chen with the reality of how love eventually fades away but also lets her know, that not all love stories last forever.
Zhang Zifeng’s Chen Chen goes from living with lies to fearlessly meeting the truth face-to-face. Leo Wu’s Zheng Yu Xing goes from being a “sad boy” to a man with purpose and a drive to pursue his dreams.
Upcoming Summer: The Taste of Music
Music is something that holds the entire film together and offers the characters their epiphanies. It is during the time of Chen Chen’s 18th birthday when through the music around her Chen Chen realizes how much she likes Zheng. Zheng, on the other hand, finds his closure during a music festival that gives him the nod to move forward in life.
The jointly produced song ‘Something Just Like This’ by Coldplay and Chainsmokers is almost like the theme song of the film. It gives the characters hope to look for something that is equivalent to a “fairytale bliss”, be it existing in the present moment or parting ways to meet at the end of the street called life.
Upcoming Summer: Final Verdict
A film to easily become an ode to what love is and how it evolves over time, Upcoming Summer genuinely resonates with the youth. With a splash of electronic music, some beautiful acting performances and an ending that is hard to see coming, Upcoming Summer is what more romantic teen dramas should be like.
You can watch Upcoming Summer now streaming on Netflix.