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Echoes of Wong Kar Wai resonate beautifully throughout this very moving
and understated, and yet very funny film. It can be viewed as a study
in grief and cross-cultural misunderstanding or even prejudice. Two
people try to comes to terms with the death of the person they each
love the most. They are on conflicting sides of desperate love
triangle. Each seeks recognition, and each needs to place their love
in, an unexpected, context. Each needs to be understood.
In many Wong Kar Wai films the actors speak to each other in different
languages with seeming full understanding. It suggests a disjuncture
between time, place and culture, where language, usually the unifying
factor within the narrative, becomes the source of each character's
isolation. Lilting is self-conscious in its language play and it works
powerfully to both comic and emotional effect. This has the magic
effect of bending time. Locations are practically sparse, but the film
gives the feeling of having moved us quite literally around the world.
The film demonstrates that with translation, there is always something
essential that is lost. This might be cultural sensitivity, the feeling
that we understand when, actually, we do not. Thus, it questions the
assumptions we all make. It might also be the feeling that we know
something or someone when actually we do not.
This may sound a heady, difficult mix. Far from it.
The film is beautifully shot, and again we experience something of the
camera work of Christopher Doyle (Wong Kar Wai's leading
cinematographer) in the delicate and soft palate of colours, and
subtlety of framing which are as evocative as the language play in
evoking mood and location. Nothing is wasted in this film. Even
landmark pieces of music (another Wong motif) sit perfectly within the
cross cultural narrative.
This is a film I will watch again and not simply for the references to
Wong Kar Wai, It's a seamless depiction of loss in a world of seeming
I hope you enjoy the film as much as I have.
Tags for Lilting Full Movie
, Ben Whishaw
, Morven Christie
, Pei-Pei Cheng
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