Wednesday, 14 May 2014

'Be With Me' (2005)

Be With Me (2005, Singapore)
Directed by: Eric Khoo
Screenplay: Eric Khoo, Kim Hoh Wong, Theresa Poh Lin Chan (inspiration)
Aithne's rating: 7/10
Aniel's rating: 7,5/10

Be With Me is a calm, meditative and almost completely silent movie. Its main topic - which you can easily get even without words - is simple: heart-breaking solitude and longing for love. We'd like to share our thoughts on the movie with you. It's not really a review, rather some more or less general impressions... Or just a simple talk. Hope you enjoy reading it.

Aithne: Ok, so... we're trying to make a voice review of a movie. For the first time. Sooo... We've seen this Singaporean movie called Be With Me and... well... Let's forget this thing is in there and just talk <laughter>. What do you think?

Aniel Bedouin: It's a very tragic movie, for sure. Very atmospheric in this way that, well, it was very minimalistic, right? And...

Aithne: Um. Definitely.

Aniel: ...I think it was supposed to be minimalistic precisely to show, kind of, maybe a bit how the woman felt, the blind one. There was one part in the movie when there was absolutely no sound... When she was typing...

Aithne: hospital, right? Oh, when she was typing as well, but I thought of the scene in hospital...

Aniel: Yeah, those were the memories I guess. Right?

Aithne: I think so... Well, I thought... This might be, of course, but I thought of it in a broader sense. You know, in general, just to show that these people are lonely and it's more or less how you feel then...

Aniel: Everything slows down, time passes by...

Aithne: I rather meant that you spend your days not really talking to anyone, you're completely closed in your world... But this was really interesting, it was something new; this movie was almost completely silent. And I really wish we had English subtitles for the Chinese parts <laughter>, between the father and the son. I know this is not a big thing, probably it wasn't anything that important, but...

Aniel: I'm not even sure whether it was not supposed to be this way. There was this small passage where the guy was starting to write a letter...

Aithne: Yeah, then there were subtitles.

Aniel: So I think maybe it was just supposed to be like this.

Aithne: I'm not sure... I wish I knew what they were saying anyway.

It's said everywhere that there were three short stories in this movie, so... I can't really find the third one, you know? One was about the guy being in love with a woman he was... em, stalking... Then the two girls... What was the third one?

Aniel: The one with the woman.

Aithne: But then you could also add the fourth one, the one of the father.

Aniel: Yes, maybe... And the one with her love...

Aithne: It starts with the father. What did you want to say, her love? Did I miss some point in here?

Aniel: I mean... I don't know whether you miss a point or not, but it's just that she was typing the memories of her love. And it was another hint, besides pictures and so on... I think that she at least... Well, I think she could both see and hear actually at some point. In the pictures, I don't know whether you've seen it at the end, you can see her with a child...

Aithne: Yes, I've seen it, but I thought maybe it was one of the children from this kind of school she was attending or so? Maybe something like that. I don't know.

I'm also thinking about this thing... When the girls were writing at the beginning of the movie and the one who was more of a main character than the other, what was her name... Jackie. She wrote something like she doesn't want to have kids because she's afraid that they'd turn out to be like her mother. Do you have any idea what she meant by it...?

 Aniel: No... The thing I can come up with is that she had some very bad relationship with her mother. We've seen it in this one scene... Of course every kind of teenager in love or struggling doesn't want the door to be open or anyone to come in, but it really seemed like... There was some broken relationship, definitely. 

Aithne: And why do you think the other girl, Sam, broke up? People on Filmweb wrote that it was after a quarrel. But there was no quarrel, she just shut her away at some point, right? Or did I miss something again?

Aniel: No no, I also didn't see any kind of quarrel or so.

Aithne: Do you think she was trying to be 'normal'?

Aniel: I wouldn't go so far. There wasn't really a hint that she suddenly had to become 'normal' because of her family or so... I think she was just a young girl, attracted to both sexes or just looking for some love, some affection. Who knows, maybe it was completely the other way round from the beginning. Maybe she was actually having a relationship with the guy and then maybe the two of them got together as well, and she wanted to experience it. I don't even think this is so important for the movie. The thing that they took this girl-girl couple... I think that, just as the story with the man and the story with the old woman, maybe it was an attempt to show the universal longing for love, you know? To not be in this stereotypical 'guy loves girl and they can't be together' or so thing, which was dealt with so many times, and then you already get into this 'Romeo-Juliet' motive. Maybe this is why they took it.

I don't know about you, but I was also really fascinated with the woman.

Aithne: The old woman?

Aniel: Yeah. I was fascinated with her... spirit, let's say. She just... lived, really. And I was really trying to imagine how would it be to not see and not hear...

Aithne: I kind of... I liked this story as well, a lot, and I found it awesome what she was doing, it was really impressive... But it was somehow the most boring of the three stories for me, you know? It was impressive for some time, but... I think the other stories weren't so long. I mean, there was a part of this story and a part of this story, and a part of this story, and again a part of this story, and then there was this very loooong sequence of the woman cooking - why do they always have to cook, I'm getting hungry... I kind of wished they showed the girls again. Somehow I could feel for them better. 

But what do you think in general? Of the movie? Did you like it?

Aniel: Yeah, as I said, it was a very unique experience for me, because it was so silent. Something similar I've only seen, experienced in Lost in Translation.

Aithne: I thought of this one while watching as well. Because of this deaf girl... Was she deaf or only mute...? No, she wasn't mute, she could speak, just in a weird way, she was deaf...

Aniel: You mean in Lost in Translation?

Aithne: Yeah, the Japanese girl? Rinko Kikuchi? It was similar in a way. Also three stories...  

I liked it that the stories were really connected to each other in here. Usually when I have this kind of movie, with three stories or so, I find it pretty weak, because the connection is also weak and it's like - you could make three movies out of it and I can't see why you put them together. Of course there's always some explanation, but I don't really buy it. In here it was really nice. Maybe because they were changing between these stories after a relatively short time, but I could somehow get into all of the stories... Even the stalking guy.

And who would you reccomend this movie to?

Aniel: I think anyone.

Aithne: Oh, that's not true.

Aniel: Why not?

Aithne: Many people would consider it just boring.

Aniel: Well, yeah, but I still would recommend it.

Aithne: Really?

Aniel: Yeah. In this respect I'm very... How would you say it? Reckless, let's say. I just recommend things I like, things I think are good movies. If someone watches action movies all the time, why should I recommend him another action movie? He could come to this conclusion himself, I guess. Or she. This one is, I would say, for everyone. And people who don't like it can just stop watching after first seven minutes or so.

Aithne: Dear Readers, if you don't like it after first seven minutes, stop watching. It's not going to get more lively.

Aniel: OK, I wouldn't suggest it to the people who are really strongly depressed and are looking for something to cheer them up <laughter>.

Aithne: Definitely. And I would recommend it to the people who liked Lost in Translation, who in general like Asian movies - because it has many distinctively Asian features - and, basically, for people who prefer quiet movies over action movies. There's a high chance they'd like it.

Вот и всё. We have nothing else to say. Twenty minutes! And I have to listen to it all...

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