Film Review: So Long, My Son (2019) by Wang Xiaoshui

Whereas the precise sociopolitical second (the re-emergence of censorship in China affecting the line-up of this yr’s Berlinale with eliminating Zhang Yimou’s “One Second” from the official competitors as a consequence of “post-production points” being solely probably the most outstanding instance) surrounding the world premiere of “So Lengthy, My Son”, the latest movie by the Chinese language sixth era director Wang Xiaoshui, is perhaps forgotten within the subsequent couple of months, the movie itself, the talent it was filmed with and its social relevance are right here to stick with us for fairly a time frame.

“So Lengthy, My Son” is screening at Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema

The world premiere at Berlinale was topped with the double Silver Bear for each of the main actors and extra of the pageant publicity is prone to happen for Wang’s three-hour epic, analyzing the social and humane value of the many years of the “one youngster” coverage in China.

For the primary hour of the movie, the viewer would possibly get misplaced in locations, time frames and the community of secrets and techniques, lies and relationships between the characters. The movie opens in mid 80’s on the river financial institution someplace within the north, the place one boy, Haohao, tries to persuade one other, Xingxing, to go to the water. Within the subsequent one, we see Xingxing, now a young person performed by up and coming Roy Wang, being his rebellious self, enjoying video-games on the dinnertime to disapproval of his caring mom Liyun (Yong Mei) and his extra stern father Yaojun (Wang Jingchun). Nevertheless, within the following scene shot discretely from afar, a boy received drowned and his household, Yaojun and Liyun, in addition to their pals carry him on their fingers to the hospital. So, did Xingxing survive the drowning one way or the other?

Because it performs out, logically, he didn’t and the “new” Xingxing is the boy adopted earlier than or when Yaojun and Lijun left their house within the north and moved to the southern coastal city of Fujian the place they, unlikely many northern immigrants chasing fast money, stay a quiet life and hold to themselves, not even talking nor understanding the native dialect. Xingxing, raised as a typical member of the era of “little emperors” (the time period cast for boys particularly throughout the years of “one youngster” coverage), runs away from house when the difficulty he was in search of lastly finds him.

In the meantime, within the collection of flashbacks, we study Haohao’s dad and mom, the Social gathering official Haiyan (Ai Liya) and Yingming (Cheng Xu) and the function they performed in Liyun and Yaojun’s life. Liyun was “inspired” by Haiyan to observe the official coverage and abort her second youngster, which left her unable to have extra kids sooner or later, whereas the connection between Yaojun and Yingming’s cousin Moli (Qi Xi) employed as his apprentice within the manufacturing facility grows out {of professional} limits.

From the outline, the plot appears melodramatic with misplaced sons, prodigal sons and sons born outdoors the wedlock, however director Wang, who additionally co-wrote the script with Ah Mei, not often goals for pathos and excessive sentimentality. As a substitute, he focuses on the repercussions of the completely different social and financial insurance policies ran in China over the course of three many years, from the nightfall of Cultural Revolution and onerous line communism to the increase of consumerism underneath the wing of state-sponsored capitalism witnessed on the flip of the millennium. The implications are being proven from the angle of peculiar folks, utilizing the 2 households for instance, focusing extra on the person than wider social stage of the scope.

Ambition, guilt and
disgrace is one thing Wang offers with, whereas the wheel of historical past and
politics stays all the time within the background. That’s the principal purpose
for the non-linear construction which makes the movie onerous to observe in
the start, whereas it pays off ultimately, with a uncommon instance of
an earnest, non-sappy completely satisfied ending within the current movie historical past.

The appearing is masterful all through. Each Yong Mei and Wang Jingchun have been topped for his or her performances on the pageant’s award ceremony, rightfully so for the layered portrayals of advanced characters, however the remainder of the ensemble deserves a shout as effectively. That particularly goes for the younger Roy Wang who reveals some actual star energy and the tactile Qi Xi, whose magnificence is much more beautiful than in her breakthrough function in Ye Lou’s “Thriller”.

Relating to the technical facet, “So Lengthy, My Son” is an achieved piece of cinema with mesmerising cinematography by Kim Hyun-seok who applies simply the correct amount of digicam motion for the movie to be neither static nor hectic, whereas the unobtrusive music written by Dong Yingda in a fairly classical trend. In the long run, the arithmetic is fairly easy: the viewers who stay affected person for the primary hour of the movie will likely be rewarded ultimately with a refined and detailed piece that reveals Wang Xiaoshui is near the highest of his recreation.



  • Try your lucky to get discount coupon
  • 1 spin per email
  • No cheating
Try Your Lucky
Remind later
No thanks