It all begins with the preparations for a wedding. Suddenly, the ex-lover of the groom walks in and makes a scene, disturbing the groom's mother. Her granddaughter takes her home, where she has a stroke. Her daughter grows distraught and worried about the emptiness; her husband meets, after 30 years, his first crush, whom he almost married; his reticient daughter gets a boyfriend; and his son, left alone by everyone, becomes a quasi-philosopher.
Over the course of three hours, we follow these stories, plus a few others. The only person not to get equal screen time is the mother, who disappears relatively early on in the proceedings to a spiritual retreat and isn't seen again until the end of the movie. It's an inexplicable choice on Yang's part, but a totally excusable one considering the richness of the other stories. Let me put it simply and succinctly: if you enjoy learning all about a person's character, interests and life, you will love this movie. The whole cast is wonderful, but Issey Ogata's performance as a charismatic Japanese businessman is warm and marvelous.
It's all about finding life's meaning, growth, spirituality, destiny, and other Big Ideas that normally reduce lesser directors to tedious symbolism, painfully spare dialogue, and other devices designed to fool the viewer in to thinking that less is more. No; as James Cameron has said, sometimes more is more. And by allowing himself the time to tell his story, Yang has given us a marvelous film that very rarely ventures into sometimes unavoidable sentimentality. Don't be scared by this movie's length, or the sub-titles (if foreign movies in general scare you); please watch this movie
What do you think of Yi Yi
Share your opinions on our forum