Based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy's girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax.
When a well known businessman goes missing, owing $100m to Taipei's underworld, two hoods decide to follow his son, the leader of a youth gang. A small group of trendy foreigners gets caught up in the action.
Each member of a family in Taipei asks hard questions about life's meaning as they live through everyday quandaries. NJ is morose: his brother owes him money, his mother is in a coma, his wife suffers a spiritual crisis when she finds her life a blank, his business partners make bad decisions against his advice, and he reconnects with his first love 30 years after he dumped her. His teenage daughter Ting-Ting watches emotions roil in their neighbors' flat and is experiencing the first stirrings of love. His 8-year-old son Yang-Yang is laconic like his dad and pursues truth with the help of a camera. "Why is the world so different from what we think it is?" asks Ting-Ting. Written by
The beginning scene of family taking wedding pictures are shot in Tunghai University in Taichung. The funeral scene is shot in The Affiliated Experimental High School Of Tunghai University in Taichung. The wedding dinner scene is in the Grand Hotel in Taipei. See more »
I'm sorry, Grandma. It wasn't that I didn't want to talk to you. I think all the stuff I could tell you... You must already know. Otherwise, you wouldn't always tell me to 'Listen!' They all say you've gone away. But you didn't tell me where you went. I guess it's someplace you think I should know. But, Grandma, I know so little. Do you know what I want to do when I grow up? I want to tell people things they don't know. Show them stuff they haven't seen. It'll be so much fun. Perhaps one day......
See more »
Reflections multiply the beauty of this film beyond anyone's rating system
I'd love to do a systematic investigation of every reflective shot in this movie. I can think of 10 stunning examples off the top of my head. In the director's comments track on the DVD you can hear Edward get noticeably excited when another reflective shot presents itself on screen. He points them all out, and it's true that the shots do seem to present themselves to the director. Although you must assume he had something to do with them, he confesses that it was magic that he discovered when he got to the location. Neither he nor I can explain what effect the superimposition of a night cityscape on a dark office space has on our understanding of the emotional world of the character sandwiched between the layers of light.
It seems there is magic at work all around. But it is not magic at all, as we learn from Mr. Ota's card trick -- merely attention. Maybe it's the reflection's ability to split out attention out into many streams of thought and quickly focus it back down that gives his scenes their vertiginous exhilaration. How else to explain the rush one feels from looking at a completely static shot where you can barely make out the actors?
He set out to make a film about family but I think he discovered he also wanted to make a film about life in Taipei. The reflections are the device that lets him make two movies at once. I think that's what is most special about each reflective shot. It is the instantaneous visual realization of an epic goal, and a reminder to the audience of both themes working in the movie.
His assuredness and gentleness astounds me.
47 of 63 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?