A teenage boy and his mother are further driven apart when they find out that his father's life insurance policy is to be received by his lover.A teenage boy and his mother are further driven apart when they find out that his father's life insurance policy is to be received by his lover.A teenage boy and his mother are further driven apart when they find out that his father's life insurance policy is to be received by his lover.
Hovering in my head for hours and hours after the emotionally powerful film-viewing experience is the main theme named Bali Song, unpretentious background music for a stage drama considered to be the Ex's brainchild in the film. The song is a ballad mixed with a bit folk and some dreamy, laidback and even sexy retro pop, with its arousing opening whistle notes sentimentally visualizing a pleasant and romantic vacation, an ideal escape and an Utopia...for anyone longing for true freedom in his/her same-sex romantic relationships against the so-called social convention. The use of music here is such a gentle and subtle move within the film's melodramatic context and a breath of fresh air out of the "traditional" conventions in the still relatively conservative Chinese culture, or even in most Asian cultures. To my surprise, though, the music and lyrics of Bali Song also work as a nice replacement (instead of a compliment) to the mediocre stage drama that it's echoing in the film.
At times, this film quietly reminds me of works from Taiwan New Cinema spearhead Edward Yang, while its music, its character-driven plot, and somewhat overacting with surely a purpose breaks my illusions immediately. It is a sharp reflection as well as honest observation of life in Taipei, for the first decade of the 21st Century or so, not of life more than 25 years ago, when Ang Lee's Wedding Banquet came out.
The film is never comfortable to watch. Literally, it is a love confession (-starting with Dear) to whoever has once been either an annoying adolescent or adult ( a.k.a. the most stupid creature on earth ). So, get your tissues ready if you wouldn't mind taking a HOME-bound emotional roller-coaster with the family drama, and then...getting bombarded by that song!
- Dec 31, 2018