October 07, 2014

Lilting (2014)

Lilting (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Hong Khaou
Country: UK

Movie Review: “Lilting”, the debut feature film from Cambodian-born filmmaker Hong Khaou, is a British drama with Asian connotations, following Junn (Pei-pei Cheng), a Cambodian-Chinese mother who doesn’t cope with the fact of having been placed in a shelter home for elders by her gay son, Kai (Andrew Leung), recently deceased in a car crash. Junn fantasizes with her son’s presence when she’s not with her new friend, Alan (Peter Bowles), another shelter dweller who nourishes strong feelings for her. The problem of communication between the two is going to be eased when Richard (Ben Whishaw), Kai’s former boyfriend, hires a meddler non-professional translator, Vann (Naomi Christie), in order to allow them to express their feelings. However, what we thought it would be helpful to get them even closer, drifts them apart, showing that sometimes the communication and verbalization of ideas can be a deterrent. “Lilting” was impeccably shot, denoting a simplistic way of processes that make the film flow without a fuss, but its pace didn’t always seemed self-assured, trying a timid humor and a warm interaction among the characters that were sparsely succeeded. Khaou’s effort in trying to extract the best of each image was a relevant factor to praise, whereas the story is presented in a sensitive manner, with a sort of languidness that sometimes was felt dragged and other times too mellow. Amongst all its irrelevant flashbacks, the low-key “Lilting” never freed itself from what was established since the beginning: a web of relationships lost in translation.

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