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'Starry Starry Night' is the most magical Neverland
This is a story of the frailty of a young soul. This is sadness in its purest form. It's the most innocent romance. It's escapism in its most magical state. 'Starry Starry Night' is simply enchanting in every single way and from its magical opening scene to the simple closing credits, it's mesmerising and beautiful. It's a story of the little things, back in a time when they are all that matters, and it's a world that one would recognise, if they saw it, but would never find a way to return to.
A combination of imaginative, mysterious and enigmatic, this film simply lingers in the silence long past its final credits and this is where nostalgia about the innocence and magic of youth are born.
On the one side of this depicted world is the hopeful Mei (Xu Jiao), a young schoolgirl with a mind which gives birth to colourful imagined landscapes and turns the world, which surrounds her, into a magical forest of unexpected wonders. Trapped on the other side, in the dullness and banality of 'grown-up real life', where the fights of her parents and death of her grandfather creep into her life unwanted and despised, Mei finds new hope and magic through the new boy in school, Jay (Eric Lin Hui Ming). Her curiosity is immediately ignited by this shy silent boy in front of the loud and noisy background of triviality in the everyday world, and escaping through their platonic relationship, Mei discovers new strength against the dullness of the greyness that surrounds her.
Cinematographer Jake Pollock has done a splendid job of transcending a young person's bright and magical imagination in visible landscapes and situations. From watercolour paintings descending on the screen to wooden toys and origami coming to life and snowflakes falling down in a crowded train station. And among those beautiful landscapes of childhood innocence and imagination lie the silence and colourlessness of the real world, where sadness is prevailing and happiness crumbles like a puzzle to the ground.
Lin's film is not a story about first love. It is a story about that one summer, that one most lonely starry night. It is a story about that fragile age where the young and innocent, imaginative and enchanted soul clashes with the severity of real life and seeks to escape in a world of fantasy and chimera.
'Starry Starry Night' is the most magical Neverland. It is a film with multiple layers of pure sadness of the one, who has to let go of their childhood innocence and beauty, and of all the rest of those who already have. Through the haunting melodies that accompany the colours on the screen, one is reminded of what it felt like to be that innocent and that mesmerised and that endlessly devoted to emotion; how it felt to be overwhelmed by the smallest thing, to be hopeful and to dream without reason. And that feeling of long-lost simplicity and magic, that nostalgia about the life once had, is a feeling that remains long after.
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