Monday, December 13, 2010

The Fourth Portrait

The girlfriend picked The Fourth Portrait as the film to catch for the week. I had no idea what the film was about and merrily just went along with her choice. I didn't read the movie poster or google any information about its plot, producer or screenwriter. Obviously, I wouldn't be familiar with any of the actors either. At worst, it would be a sappy romance flick and I roll my eyes till I flip over in the seat. *ducks from being smacked

It was very nice to stroll into an uncrowded cinema on a weekday afternoon. There were many older folks already seated, and talking very loudly in Hokkien. I wonder if it was the timing or the genre of the film. For a moment, I slid really deep into my seat and wondered what on earth the girlfriend had gotten us into. The mind conjured up these images of the old YangTze cinema in Chinatown with sleazy old folks, wads of toilet paper, umbrellas and eeeky smells.

As the film progressed, I was swept up in the life of the little boy. Luckily there were subtitles. Otherwise, I'd really be quite lost. There were so many social issues encapsulated in the story that it was sobering. Brilliantly timed and inserted amongst the frames, the simple lines uttered by the characters revealed the whole plot and what laid beneath. I really enjoyed it, and was quite put out to have it finish at the 2-hour mark. It wasn't too slow; almost riveting, in fact.

I let out a palpable wail at the ending. WTF. I don't like the endings of arthouse films! I'm shallow like that. I like my endings neatly wrapped up in a death, or something. You know, like how the B-grade movies do it?


sinlady said...

ya. i is one of the older folks who go to the cinema on weekday afternoons when it is not not crowded but near empty heheh

imp said...

sinlady: hehehehe. i shall also do that nowadays. but we won't talk loudly all the way through the movie or rustle plastic bags.

ame said...

HEY! *smack* i cultured k. wat sappy romance flick. i know wat we're going to watch next btw. haha.

i dunno why tho. but i was fine with the old couple making random comments in hokkien to each other throughout the show. normally would be very annoyed and want to smack someone. maybe it's how they were old and just being themselves and kinda... sweet lah.

imp said...

ame: HEY! no violence! luckily i don't exactly understand hokkien. so i tuned out the couple's voices to background noise. the characters spoke a sort of Taiwanese Hokkien too. same same. so they didn't bother me.