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The Post Modern Life of My Aunt
I'm just wondering how anyone couldn't like this so absurd and bizarre movie. I have never been to China but I could catch a glimpse of how an awarded model post-revolutionist ageing Chinese woman is struggling alone in a so called civilized metropolis and the capital of culture such as Shanghai.
Siqin Gaowa delivered the greatest performance I have ever seen in my entire life. Just her expression with a word "AHA" when Chow Yun Fat told her that she's a "beauteous" type could say thousand words. It's the most extraordinary facial expression I have ever seen!
Don't be biased just because she is a rotten rice sack which doesn't have traditional "beauty". Beauteousness still remains! This scene is a study case for all actors and actresses...
Dowdy? Where are you talking about? Shanghai isn't Palm Springs or Bel-Air. The aunt in the movie tries to flash her sophistication, intellect, and artistic skills at every damn opportunity she can, even though her own hand-made knitted swimming suit is bled-out in a swimming pool.
No time for anyone to ever look down at her as a waste in the city that has high competition and envy even next door. She doesnt own much to save but shes secretly saving money and face.
She possesses every household comfort/facility and tries to live like a normal city-living creature, but dares not turn any of them on. She throws a fuss at every victim who trespasses her social/moral values and sense of social responsibilities, but dares not tell anyone that she has an adulterous affair with a sweet-talking con-artist.
She thinks he sees through to her inner beauty and that he matches her artistic intellect and sophistication. She falls for him and manages to go broke her ass off.
A soft-hearted, lonely woman who thinks she is always taken advantage of, she's quick to do good deeds when needed because of guilty feelings that she left her daughter and husband in a waste land like Manchuria long ago to fulfill her desire, passion and ambition of Chinese revolution.
She reflects on herself as an intellectual. What else do you think she had to do in the faraway land, Manchuria where her abilities couldnt shine, besides getting stuck with a working class husband who cant participate and react to her education and artistic sense? That's not difficult to understand.
We see her hair go grey when she's in the hospital because she can't go out to dye it to hide her age anymore. That's a simple, little fact I'm glad that the director of this movie didn't overlook.
I have nothing against the plots and sequences of the story. The writing and portrayal in the movie isnt the problem for me at all. Anyone who has trouble with it may have his/her own trouble to understand him/her self. I cant help thinking about them as self-indulgent. Where do they leave their senses of living behind anyway?
The movie cant convey human condition? What are you talking about? Film-makers arent supposed to be charity associations. Go to the Salvation Army or U.N for advice if you feel like saving humanitys grace, not film-makers. Then come to tell me if they ever succeed.
No sublime Joan of Arc or G.I Jane here. Im glad they made it that way. It has no cure or answer in this movie. We just have to watch and observe the story they tell. Its normal.
I just could have sympathy for someone like the aunt as the outsider, as well as the aunt could to the woman with an ill kid who she tried to save. I couldnt do much, as neither could she do much.
She has the right to piss off at them as much as she deserves to be pissed off at by her daughter. Each life has different texture and content. Its a story of an ordinary woman, not a woman who makes history.
No chemistry between the aunt and her Romeo? Again, what are you talking about? The aunt is sensitive, as she recognizes herself as an artist that makes her fall for a pseudo-artist who is a la coquet and well-read. He reads enough to quote something to blow her desperate mind away.
Shes the one who is desperately in love with him, not him who doesnt have any purpose in falling in love, but is looking for someone to feed him like his mom, while he fancies his old days.
He needs women to spoil him, not to question him. Chow Yun Fat didnt do more or less to deceive her. Its just right. He only needs someone who he can easily deceive. Who else is a better choice than an aging lonely woman? If he wants to deceive younger women he surely will need more and work harder than that.
He is just an aging man who likes to do an easy job to earn anything. He doesnt need chemistry to approach her. He only needs his biological gift as an egocentric and narcissistic asshole.
No hard feelings here. Only the strongest will survive in wild concrete jungle where the elders arent treated like respectful creatures but harmless and endangered species.
The daughter comes out of the blue? Why do you think she has to lie that she has relative in America for if she wants anyone to know her unmemorable family contact?
She doesnt even know what to do or who to call when she receives a mobile phone from her nephew to apologize to her, and wants to keep her away from a nagging neighbor who always has unwelcome concerns about her modernity and luxury.
It doesnt only take a civil war or a bad-tempered wizard to make any life hapless. Theres no magic to save anyone in this movie.
Of course, life sucks sometime, and it screws you up all the way. Either live on or drop out, it always manages to chase you back to where you run away from.
We see her life slowly crumble. Theres no emotional shaking, it just happens. It all makes sense to me. If pondering isnt one of the indications in your purpose of living, then I recommend you to stick with rest-assured Blockbuster Hits as usual