A Review of the farewell
This may be the most difficult review I will ever have to write for a movie. Lulu Wang has created art which crosses all thresholds and is relatable to any audience. The Farewell is masterful in dredging up familiar moments. Moments which include the happiness of family gatherings to the horrible, gut-churning acceptance of a reality where cancer may soon take your patriarch.
Its portrayals of the ridiculousness of how families deal with both marriage and death are both different yet recognizable. Even though this family is predominately of Chinese origins, any race or culture can understand and appreciate the events happening on the screen in their own lives. Even the dinner scenes have those similar bickering moments between relatives we’ve all had to be witness to. This is a film whose emotional connection to its audience may be unmatched by any film which has ever come before it (and I do not say this lightly).
The superb casting works hand in hand with the script to create a family unit that comes across as being real and not one haphazardly thrown together to be portrayed on the big screen. I would be very surprised and disappointed if Awkwafina does not garner a Best Actress Oscar Nomination for her portrayal of Billi, the somewhat somber and cynical grandchild of the bubbly and full of life (and also unfortunately cancer) Nai Nai, played by Zhao Shuzhen. The supporting cast also help to carry the burden of Nai Nai’s cancer (as they refuse to tell her as to not scare her to an earlier grave) throughout the film. Their interactions help show every side of a family trying to deal with the ever-looming presence of death including humor, guilt, and heartbreak.
The vulnerability presented in The Farewell is as unnerving as it is beautiful. This along with the ending scene, which is almost a guarantee to elicit the waterworks, is why I am calling this the best film of the year and it is only September. 10/10 long cries. YoungYoda out.
(P.S. This review is purposely short as words are difficult when it comes to the emotional intensity of this film. My suggestion is to go watch it and understand where I’m coming from. Much love.)