Film Review: My Heavenly City 我的天堂城市 (2023) Taiwan 🇹🇼
Reviewed by Andrew Chan(Film Critics Circle of Australia 🇦🇺)
The most beautiful aspect of this lovely little gem of a film is the core emotional focus of human journeys in different stages of their lives and how they grow in face of adversity, love, relationships, life decisions, mental illness and those around them. The lovely wrap around these three intertwined stories just happened that it revolves around New York City, a city that director Sen-I Yu lived within. In a way, it also portray the struggles of the recent immigration waves and how loneliness channels thru these real human characters and the stories told are immediately affecting as they are so realistic and thought provoking.
Vivian Sung kicks off the proceedings as someone who moved to New York for love and end up processing the emoticons of a break up. In the journey she overcomes her own demons as she set a path of finding herself through a new job as an interrupter. Next up, we see Hong Kong latest superstar Mirror band group member Keung To as an aspiring dancer who is lost in the big city, until he encounters the love at first sight played by the energetic Jessica Lee. Lee and To falls in love very quickly due to common interest and both finding their ways in New York. The film finishes with the most emotional story of the trio, with Mandy Wei and Jack Yao as a couple dealing with the severe case of mental illness and violence in the shape of their son.
All these stories works perfectly when it presents scenarios and happenings in real time as we see these human relatable character dealing and adapting and growing through the situations thrown at each one of them. All in all, “My Heavenly City” is beautifully acted, paced and emotionally executed in a manner that is both relatable and engaging. As the credit rolls, the audience is able to reflect upon their own experiences and it is likely we all have a bit of the stories within us. It’s beautiful to watch.
I rated it 9/10