It’s a little late but living in Medway I find it hard to see good films that seem to come out every week this summer and yet, do not reach this area whatsoever. So I travel to London to see good films and it often happens, like this week, that every film I see is brilliant. Add Curzon Soho to the viewing experience and you get a night to remember forever.
I saw the Congress, Two Days and One Night and Lilting the same week and it took me a few minutes to pick one to review. I was thinking about it quite hard even though shortly, because I tend to only review bad films on my site and although ranting is fun, I do not promote those who deserve it. So Lilting.
Lilting might be leaving cinemas soon, so go and see it before it does. To say that the story is brilliant and the acting is just outstanding would be an understatement. It is so much more than this. Lilting is extremely urgent and importnat film, especially today when half of us travel from place to place trying to feel at home furthest from the one we were brought up in. Lilting is a story about communication, fitting in and understanding oneself and other. It is told with butterfly sensitivity, in beautiful shots and through editing like no other. It is a poem that runs like waves, small and large, angering and calming the sea.
I hate this part of a review when you are suppose to reveal the plot, so as most of the times I will be very broad and vague as chicken soup. A pair of lovers, one of them dies. His mother, a Chinese woman who never adjusted to English culture she’s been surrounded by since she moved to England years before, is left alone in a care-home, a non-home to her. The son’s lover, Richard (amazing Ben Whishaw) decides to visit her, one, two and then every day and with a help of a young Chinese speaking girl, he learns how to communicate with the mother of Kai.
I wish this description could give Lilting the justice it deserves but the story is just a pretext for the film to uncover the subtelties of communication, the complex details that make it difficult, often impossible. Not only is it language that allows us to communicate but we need to move within the cultural frames, often to foreign to understant. Lilting offers us an important look into the feeling of being lost- lost in a different culture, lost in your age, lost after the death of a loved one. The director, Hong Khaou is a poet behind the camera, leading our eyes into hearthtouching and melanholic images always balanced with a gentle smile which kills cheesy sentimentality that so often destroys films like this one.
I cannot recommend Lilting enough. It is a beautiful, tear-sweetening story, one that stays in one’s heart for a very long time after the screen goes black.