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Lilting (2014)

Lilting (2014)

A thoughtful, heartbreaking debut feature where shared grief bridges two different people

7.2

Movie

United Kingdom
Cantonese, English, Mandarin
Drama
2014
HONG KHAOU
Andrew Leung, Ben Whishaw, Cheng Pei-pei
91 min

TLDR

It’s acturally crazy how this is a debut feature…

What it's about

After Kai, his boyfriend of four years, has died, Richard tries to connect with his Cambodian-Chinese mother Junn– both grieving for the same man, but unable to understand each other due to the language barrier.

The take

The people you love have different people, sometimes different worlds, in their lives that we don’t necessarily get to know about, though it depends on your loved ones. While most of the time, we would introduce the love of our lives to our families, sometimes, it’s not possible, especially if you’re not out to them yet. Hong Khaou's debut feature film is centered on that idea, and he handles this topic with the pace it needs, allowing Ben Whishaw and Cheng Pei-pei to carefully forge a gentle, genuine connection between two very different people bridged through Vann’s translations and their love for Kai.

What stands out

The characters have different levels of understanding on everything in this film. It’s fun to see Hong Khaou play with these varying levels with regards to Junn and Alan’s relationship, but it definitely is the driving force behind Richard and Junn’s grief over losing Kai. The subtitles are also a nice touch, especially when they disappear when Vann is translating.

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