Film Review: The Falls (2021) by Chung Mong-hong

Chung  Mong-hong is without doubt one of the most fun voices popping out of Taiwanese cinema for years now. His work, both as a director in titles such “Godspeed” and “A Solar” or as producer in “The Nice Buddha+” and “Classmates Minus” is a at all times a pleasure to observe, significantly for the best way he manages to mix mainstream themes with an art-house strategy and wealthy sociopolitical context. “The Falls” will not be an exception.

“The Falls” is screening at Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema

Single mom Pin-Wen is a profession lady working in a multinational firm, whereas dwelling along with her teenage daughter, Xiao Jing. In the future, nevertheless, issues take a flip for the more serious for her, as she is knowledgeable of a extreme wage minimize, and likewise that her daughter is compelled to quarantine after a classmate examined optimistic for coronavirus. On the firm’s request, Pin-Wen can also be compelled to remain at house, and all the problems she had along with her daughter, come to the fore in essentially the most direct trend. Xiao Jing basically decides to lock herself in her room, profiting from her potential sickness to keep away from having any form of communication along with her mom. As her conduct deteriorates, Pin-Wen is compelled to name her ex-husband for assist, however issues deteriorate much more a bit later, because the nervous breakdown she appeared about to have, is confirmed to be one thing a lot worse. Xiao Jing has to face actuality in a manner she had by no means carried out earlier than, as the problems she and her mom face have solely simply begun. 

Chung Mong-hong, as traditional, does quite a lot of very good issues along with his film. The primary one is the best way he makes use of the pandemic and the quarantine measures as a metaphor for the strained relationship between mom and daughter, with the masks and the seclusion Xiao Jing imposes on herself, but in addition basically on her mom, highlighting this strategy in one of the best trend. That proven fact that the quarantine, nevertheless, additionally has precise implications can also be showcased right here, however Chung appears to recommend that the pandemic didn’t precisely create new psychological points (other than the plain bodily and logistical ones) however basically intensified those who pre-existed, in a reasonably ingenious strategy to the entire idea. On the identical time, he additionally reveals how even the results can lead to one thing good, by bringing households collectively, permitting their members to get to know one another in a manner they didn’t earlier than, and basically, understand their emotions for one another. 

One other nice side is the best way he presents the downfall of Pin-Wen, whose intense psychological points finally develop into bodily ones (as in monetary ones) in an strategy that really borders on the horror/thriller, significantly within the scene within the rain, and the methods actuality is being distorted, with out the viewers realizing (at first) what precisely is occurring. Her coming again, on an entire new set of phrases, can also be distinctive, moreover as a result of manner the entire process capabilities as the start of the approaching of age for Xiao Jing and the explanation mom and daughter come nearer than ever. 

All these parts profit essentially the most by the superb appearing, with Alyssa Chia as Pin-Wen and Gingle Wang (who has develop into a giant identify after “Detention”) as Xiao Jing portraying their transformations in essentially the most convincing and measured trend, as their glorious chemistry turns into evident each time they seem on display collectively. 

Other than these parts, Chung has additionally included quite a lot of entertaining elements and socioeconomic feedback within the movie. The center-aged romance between Pin-Wen and her new boss, and the best way Xiao Jing enjoys the entire endeavour and teasing her mom is essentially the most evident one, additionally benefiting essentially the most by the presence of Chen Yi-Wen within the position. The entire endeavour with Pin-Wen’s father is equally interesting in dramatic phrases, whereas the superb finale and significantly the best way Chung approaches the revealing of Xiao Jing’s destiny is really ingenious. The presentation of the variations between the dog-eat-dog world of huge companies and the a lot much less rewarding in monetary phrases however, on the identical time, a lot simpler to navigate low-wage one is equally distinctive. Lastly, the fraud concerning housing that takes place within the story cements the superb contextual strategy of the film. 

Chung’s personal cinematography captures all of the aforementioned parts by means of a prism of realism, which additionally makes the few imaginative scenes wanting much more impactful (once more, the wind and rain one). Lai Hsiu-Hsiung’s modifying permits the story to “breathe” by means of a reasonably becoming, comparatively quick tempo. The variety of episodes is a bit an excessive amount of, however since all of them are both entertaining or contextually vital (or each) this can’t be perceived as a fault precisely, additionally as a result of, even at 130 minutes, the film doesn’t overextend its welcome. 

“The Falls” proves as soon as extra the reasonably excessive cinematic stage Chung Mong-hong at the moment resides on, in among the finest movies of the 12 months. 



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