Through 3 traditonal rituals; a wedding, a baby shower, and a funeral, this human drama of warmth and understanding takes us through the lives of the members of a middle-class urban family in a typical cosmopolitan city of Taipei to preview the prospects of the next Century's arrival.
Cast & Credits
"Yi Yi" has a certain circularity, a journey between the beginning and the end centered on the life that happens between them.
It begins with a marriage and ends with a funeral, in the middle it has a birth, a reunion, a crime and a series of moments, of passages. It is perhaps a more serene film, where even the acidity and a certain harshness of other films are tamed, contained in the decency and innocence of three of the film's central figures, father NJ played by, Wu Nien-jen, daughter Ting-Ting Kelly Lee and Yang-Yang son Jonathan Chang.
Film criticism about Taiwanese society with superstition, business practices and media, among others), but somehow there is a reconciliation with life, one to accept that we "all get old."
Over the course of three hours, one by one, the title of the film can be translated as "One," the members of the Jian family and a series of characters that gravitate to their own. Each member of the family like that comes to a crossroads that has to separate.
Although there is crying, shouting and violence in "Yi Yi", the unfolding of the relations between the characters and their self-reflection is subtle, delicate, poetic even a poetry of the real but, above all, a poetry of the cinema. After all, cinema enhances life. "We have lived three times more since the invention of cinema," says one of the characters. Cinema allows us to feel what we just imagine or, like Yang-Yang cinematography, helps us see what we can not.
There is no shortage of intriguing phrases and even quirky humor in the "Yi Yi" dialogues. But this is also a movie of silences and whispers, a film where everything else that remains to be said matters. This delicacy of the film is enhanced by the piano soundtrack. A film in which the images are sovereign and where the actors are part of the spaces. Not that the interpretations are not superb, but that they do not exist in a vacuum but in total experience. The meager detail of décors, wardrobe, lighting, but above all the meticulous frames make "Yi Yi" a film of remarkable balance of technical excellence as well as a plausible portrait of a Taiwanese middle-class family.
Undoubtedly in retrospect, Yang, prematurely missing in 2007, but left us a beautiful goodbye.