The story of a father's tireless love for his autistic son. A terminally ill father's attempt to teach his autistic son the necessary life skills to survive on his own before he passes away. It is also a poignant tribute to the infinite love that parents have for their children and their unending desire to take care and look after them to their best abilities, no matter the struggle, no matter the effort.
- Native title: 海洋天堂
- Also Known as: Ocean Paradise; Hai Yang Tian Tang
- Genres: Drama
Cast & Credits
Viewers may note with some interest Jet Li in the starring role. Casting him was not a mistake. He disappears so completely into Sam Wong that I completely forgot Jet Li, famed action star. All that was left the gentle, loving father trying desperately to find a place in the world for his misunderstood child. Nothing would please me more than to see Li continue to show such different sides of his acting. As Sam's autistic child, Da Fu, Zhang Wen had a very convincing performance. He must have studied carefully to gain such a high level of realism. It was also easy to feel the love portrayed between the two; without such chemistry, the story would have failed.
Another well-handled aspect would be the use of cinematography. Gorgeous shots and quietly nurtured imagery adds a gentle sense of tragic beauty to the experience.
More sensitive viewers should be careful with this film. You may experience deep emotions despite the fact Ocean Heaven is subtle as can be. I felt moved, saddened, and outraged by turns; I actually wanted to go through the screen and help this poor family out myself. Needless to say the last 30 minutes had me in tears.
Autism is still very much misunderstood in China, and this film offered a realistic perspective of what Dafu and his father has to go through.
The premise of the film is easily a tearjerker, but I'm glad the film didn't try to pull any weight to get there. Subtle and silent giving of Sam, and Dafu's willingness to try and learn allowed my emotions to come willingly and naturally. Watching Sam's love for Dafu also helped me to appreciate my own father more.
Overall definitely watch to see a different Jet Li.