A One and a Two
Yi-Yi is a Taiwanese film entry to the Cannes Festival in 2000 where Director Edward Yang won Best Director and got nominations for the Palme d’Or. The film has also won awards in various film festivals: Karlovy Vary International’s Netpac Award; the Vancouver International’s Chief Dan George Humanitarian Award; and Sarajevo 2000’s Panorama Jury Award, tying up with the film “Topsy-Turvy.
” Among others the film has received the Best Foreign Film Award (from the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 2001, Los Angeles Film Critics Association 2000, and National Society of Film Critics 2001), Grand Prix (at the Friboug International Film Festival 2001), and the Best Foreign Language Film (from New York Film Critics Circle Awards 2000). Various publications, like the New York Times and the Chicago Reader, among others, named it one of the best movies of the year 2001. The movie is a lengthy 3 hour film, packing with it a triad of lovelorn marriage, attempts at suicide and finally, death.
The film emphasizes the role of every family member with regards to the other members of the family, and how challenges are overcome in the process. Into the Story Yi-Yi’s story revolves around the lives of a typical Taiwanese family, fully encompassing every facet that life has to offer: marriage, death, and everything else in between. The characters put into perspective the various challenges faced by an individual in a struggling family. They give life to the screen the people that could embody the problems and struggles known not only to the Taiwanese but to the world as well.
NJ is the head of the family: he begins midlife crisis when he met his ex-girlfriend of thirty years at the wedding of his brother-in-law. He starts to assess his relationship with his wife, Min-min, who in her case of being unable to put up with his husband’s infidelity and her mother’s coma, has succumbed to depression and joined a religious cult. They have two kids, Ting-ting and Yang-yang, both of which are experiencing their own age-related problems. Ting-ting is grappling on the strings of first love, its hardships, and the complications of having a flame that has the tendency to burn out easily.
Yang-yang is bullied by bigger girls in his school, and he retreats into his inferiority with the company of a camera with which he uses to capture moments who realized are only transient. Alienation in One’s Own Family Just when you needed someone who could listen to your grievances, they have all gone away and not one has decided to stay. The alienation by each member of the family towards the others is beautifully portrayed in the movie; each character detaches him/herself from what they considered were their comfort zones and headed downhill.
NJ alienated himself from his wife during the times he was thinking about their current relationship. The sudden appearance of his former girlfriend has brought him into the abyss of bewilderment and confusion. He chose to distance himself as most cheating husbands do to keep the secret hidden and to not involve the children into the issue. The downside is that he is the head of the family, the one everyone is dependent on. His disappearance in the family scene has caused a chain of events that eventually led to the imminent destruction of his family.
His wife Min-min loses her touch with the world being unable to bear her mother’s coma and his husband’s coldness. Slowly, she slipped into depression, unable to control the happenings that continuously unfold in front of her. His husband’s coldness she took as a sign of her incapacity as a wife, which pulled her even lower. She joins a religious cult, throwing all her time and problems away, avoiding it from distracting her from her present demise. She failed as a mother and confidante to her daughter and her son.
Ting-ting, the daughter, entwines herself in the web of her first love. Being the first, she has no idea of how things went along, or how she should handle things. Her mother has her own depression to take care of, and she has nowhere to go to for advice. As if the burden with having to juggle a first love is not enough, Ting-ting blames herself for her grandmother’s coma. Unable to find the care she needed from her family, she alienated herself and moved on her own. It was said that Yang-yang might be the alter-ego of the director, Edward Yang.
In his innocence, the boy was already insightful, using the camera he has to capture moments that, I quote, “I can’t see what you see and you can’t see what I see. So how can I know what you see? ” Like Yang, the little boy uses his camera to see what others can see, taking pictures from the back of people’s heads. His alienation from the family is not that pronounced, as he is the younger sibling and that he has no understanding yet of what was actually happening in his family’s lives.
Alienation has proven to be very destructive in this family’s case. The director has given the roles justice by adding this vital aspect that could happen in every family life as a buffer to give the film a not-so-melodramatic but moving unfolding. Inter-personal Relationship in the Contemporary Society The film also included other family members in the circle of people. A scene in the movie shows NJ and his brother-in-law A-Di, a window frame set between them, ironically showing the difference of the two men.
Money for NJ is not as important as it is for A-Di, and the spaces that they occupy in the window frame shows just how they value money, which at that part was the topic of their discussion. Min-min starts asking herself of what her purpose in the world is. With a mother that she should and supposedly has to care for, she seeks out for the care other people—strangers—can only give her. The inter-personal relationship that she and her husband, as depicted albeit subtly in the film, has come to a worse turn. If they were already having marital problems before the timeline at the onset of the film, the audience can never know.
Although one is given the idea that they do have problems when NJ sought out and vied for Sherry’s love once again. The fact that he tried to work out a relationship with his ex-flame has given the audience a glimpse into what could actually be happening in their marital lives. Another part in the story was when NJ was talking to a Japanese games maker. He looked up at the man mainly because he needed him to save his company from its imminent loss. It wasn’t at all anything more than the need for him to use that man to pick his company up.
It was there in Japan where he started his acts of infidelity towards Min-min with ex-girlfriend Sherry, and it showed the transience of his feelings for the one he walked down the aisle with. In the end, however, NJ returns to his estranged wife, which in a way shows more of that transience of feeling and emotion; meaning, an emotion is only called for when the time and situation asks for it. The connection the little boy Yang-yang has with the cast shows that in a family alienated by their own problems towards each other, there is always that someone who will hold them all together.
Little as he is, he can still give his family the assurance that there are things that one needs to understand with regards of the other because we don’t know how they would think or feel exactly of the actions we knowingly or unknowingly bestows upon them. The movie shows its viewers that although there comes into our lives the dissociation of our peers and our own family members, there will always come a time where everything will be settled, and every little problem will be solved.Sample Essay of BuyEssay.org