Flash Movie Review: A Simple Life
The eyes once white bright look like aged paper from a well worn novel. They can still flash with the sparks of life but just not as many as before. Their hands now curled and knotted look like arthritic sampling branches used to create meals that filled the house with intoxicating aromas like seductive sirens. Through the years memories have formed and periodically emerge into one’s consciousness from time to time. Their buoyancy can be attributed to emotions filed with kindness, love, joy and compassion. Throughout one’s journey of life they were present, maybe not in a starring role; yet their contributions were always part of special events. There is a sense of safety when people grow old together. They may take turns in leading the way down life’s road, but always with intentions of ease and comfort. The bonds that formed early on may lose some of their flexibility but they still are apparent to anyone who comes near. I try very hard not to look like I am staring, but watching elderly people interacting fascinates me. It is as if they have their own secret language that is mostly silent to anyone around them. It appears to be more prominent when I see them having a meal. The way items get divvied up, some whole while others are reduced to bite-sized morsels; it is similar to a choreographed dance. To this day when I either hear the names or see certain foods I get a flashback to where I used to get that particular food item when I was younger. HAVING been part of the Leung household for decades, when she suffered a stroke Ah Tao, played by Deanie Yip (The Legend of Shaolin, Dragons Forever), decided to quit and move to a rehabilitation/senior citizens facility. She did not want to be a burden to Roger, played by Andy Lau (House of Flying Daggers, Internal Affairs), who she helped in raising from birth. This film festival winning drama was exquisite in its execution. A beautiful, touching story that truly gave a real sense of the bonds formed in a family’s life. There was nothing extraordinary taking place, no special effects, only a dramatic story that the actors handled skillfully. This is not a fast paced film, so a few scenes seemed stagnant to me. I have to say part of my connection to the film was due to the character Ah Tao because I still feel a little uncomfortable when someone does something for me, I related to this character. Also the fact that all of us are heading in the same direction through the aging process; the story carried more weight for me. Either way this movie will in the future become a fond memory for me. Cantonese and Mandarin was spoken with English subtitles.
3 1/2 stars — DVD