Wednesday, December 06, 2006

After This Our Exile

Just came back from the screening of After This Our Exile (Fù zi in Chinese, meaning father and son) starring pop singer/actor Aaron Kwok, Charlie Young, and the lovable Ian Gouw Iskandar. The movie will be opening in Malaysia on Dec 7, so be forewarned that spoilers are ahead, hehe.

The story takes place in a small town up north of Malaysia about a man past his prime whose unwedded partner left him for his incapability of taking care of the family both financially and emotionally, leaving behind a young, innocent son, caught in a messed up adult world. The movie saw Kwok taking on a challenging role as a husband and father with a streak of abusiveness in him, trying desperately to be loving in order to keep the family together, only failing miserably due to his addiction to gambling and a proud attitude.

After this Our Exile won the Best Asian Film and Best Artistic Contribution at the recently concluded Tokyo International Film Festival, and has also garnered 3 wins at the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan for Best Film, Best Actor (Kwok), and Best Supporting Actor (Iskandar).

Well, I don’t know if it’s just me or well, me. I feel both the lead actor and actress are trying really hard to speak with the Malaysian Cantonese accent which makes it a little awkward, for me at least, to totally immerse myself in the story and feel “Malaysian”.

But having said that, the movie brought a refreshing touch of reality which reminded me that how blessed most of us are to be surrounded by supportive loved ones, have education, a job, and basically a whole life in front of us to live! So what is it about a quarrel with parents, squabble with siblings, calculative boss, and bank loans to repay when tragic family dramas are taking place every day in some corners, away from societal help, resulting in irreparable endings?

It’s been awhile since I last saw this genre of movie, I enjoyed the slow pace set through out the film; it’s like a walk down a quiet kampung lane in the hot, humid afternoon: enthralling yet, disturbing.

If you have the time, catch the movie, and ponder, what’s the world like outside of your comfort zone? Think about it.

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