Mindy Ho, an eccentric, strong-minded 12-year-old, stages Taoist magical experiments to save her harried single mother from financial and romantic ruin. Her misdirected charms appear to cause an aging security guard to lose his job and a local butcher to win the lottery, ultimately forcing each man to face his worst fears. Whether it's through Mindy's spells, her monumental sense of purpose--or it's that life's mysterious logic is at work--her mother's drab existence is enlivened. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Very enjoyable but I can understand Frank L. having some concerns
This is a "slice of life" film about some people in the Chinese community of Vancouver. The leading characters are a single mom and her super-superstitious little girl. Because of the cute little girl's machinations, their lives become intertwined in the stories of several others in the neighborhood. I particularly enjoyed the unforeseen consequences that occur when the girl tries to slip her mother and a male friend a love potion.
The film is very atypical compared to a Hollywood style film in that the plot is very slim and the emphasis is on people. Plus, not all the story lines are worked out perfectly--there are plenty of dangling plots that do not get resolved when the film concludes. Both these aspects of the film may put off many viewers, but if you appreciate independent and foreign films, this will not be a problem. As for me, I liked the characters and the way their lives were portrayed in such simple ways.
This was a very enjoyable film--one I could have easily scored an 8. However, I also realize that my enjoyment of the film may just be because I am not an Asian and I didn't notice all the flaws in the way they portrayed the Chinese-Canadian community. I did feel rather perplexed that Sandra Oh was cast in the lead because I know she's of Korean decent--and it did seem very odd to have all the adults in the film speaking Chinese (I assume Cantonese) and yet she spoke almost none. She's a good actress but just seemed in the wrong element here. In addition, whether or not these superstitions, good luck charms, potions, etc. are real I have no idea and I could easily see people assuming this is typical for the community. According to Frank L.'s review, he was upset about the misrepresentations of his culture and I just have to assume the film makers took a lot of liberties about this.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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