Adieu 告別之前 (2018) - Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
One of the biggest issue with the well meaning and manufactured “tear-jerker” film about death, life end of journey and cancer is poor filmmaking techniques from the basics to handling strong dramatic scenes. Yes, there will be bound to be a few tears, but mostly forced out of the end of life situations than the developed storyline or plot. There is a lot of good things to say and end of life message the film tries extremely hard to portray, but none are developed thoroughly enough to justify the tears or the message. What we get instead are a number of star cameo appearances, making it seem like a lunar Chinese New Year, except this is a melodrama.
Louis Cheung plays the father of the cancer ridden child (played exceptionally well) and together with the ever improving Michelle Wai as the wife and mother shows the struggles and difficulty for a relationship as well as worrying about their child’s eventual fate. Helena Law Lan is always excellent in making the old lady facing impending death with a final wish of having dinner with her long forgotten daughter and son. Meanwhile, the third story goes to Jason Chan and Hedwig Tam showing the frustration and enormous sacrifices that goes with an infernal of emotions of caring for a cancer patient facing death. Gladys Li shows raw talent as the social worker in the midst.
All in all, Director Kenneth Lau is far too TV like in his approach and fails to make it into a cinematic affair. It should be noted that movies should portray a fuller and deep scope of characters that we will slowly grow and care for, however, too many cinematic shortcuts were taken and the result is clear, manufactured tears and not memorable ones.
I rated it 5.5/10
Louis Cheung, Michelle Wai, Helena Law, Gladys Li, Hedwig Tam, Jason Chan