Starry Starry Night – 2011


Starry Starry Night is a Taiwanese film by the director Tom Lin and is based on the novel by author, Jimmy Liao. It stars Xu Jiao and Lin Hui-Min.

It is a tale of loss of innocence, childhood memories, finding love and ultimately finding contentment. Visually it is a very beautiful film. The gentle soft tones and colours of the film add to a sense of nostalgia, giving the feeling of faded memories. The opening scene in which Mei is sitting in the train station works well to establish her sense of despair and anguish at having to leave her grandfather and life in the mountains to return to the fractious home her parents share.

She meets a soul mate in Jie, and the portrayal of their relationship is touching without being too sickly sweet and unpalatable. The young actors fulfil the role very well and you feel your self empathising with their characters.  The mixture of fantasy and reality within the film adds to this sense of nostalgia and empathy.

The scene in which her parents are arguing after Mei is excused to her room left a lasting impression on me. The way the music was turned up allowing Mei to hear only mumbled argument illustrates the way that a lot of children growing up with parents at war would experience the arguments. The sense of knowing that there is an argument taking place but having to fill in the gaps adds to the sense of isolation. When the fish-bowl gets knocked down and Mei peers under the door to see a goldfish on the floor is a perfect metaphor for how she is feeling at that precise moment, like a fish out of water.

I would recommend this film as one to watch, it is sentimental without being overtly so, it is a tale of loss, sadness , fear and grief, but also of hope, love and friendship. This film is a well considered, sensitively portrayed vision of life and all it s emotions.Pretty much sums up life!

 

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