Till We Meet Again 生前約死後 (2019) - Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
There is something lingering and beautiful behind popular TV actor Steven Ma turned director, screenwriter and star in “Till We Meet Again”. It is not the usual commercial film experience as it is very much a personal project about his own struggles with grief, depression and dealing with lost. It is the kind of film that is constantly a difficult watch and often cloying to some audience in the way of its pacing, but it’s depiction of mental illness is extremely real and the grief and depression will relate to people who have experience similar times or have care for those that experienced this.
Steven Ma is a good actor and is given a juicy role here as the tormented and conflicted soul with an underlying love for his mother and longs to see her again. It is easily Ma’s most complicated performance and probably one of his best. Together with the highly underrated Josephine Ku Mei-wah playing his mother, Ku makes her role that can easily be fantastical into something more than it should be. Likewise Himmy Wong as Ma’s buddy is strong in depiction. However it is Jennifer Yu as the psychiatrist with her own issues that gives the most rounded performance. Yu had an amazing year with many great performance and most certainly turned in a mature display in this one.
All in all, “Till We Meet Again” is definitely a well meaning film, but loses out in the cinematic experience. It will certainly relate to those that have similar experiences and will likely bring out tears and rounded eyes. However, Ma as first time director suffers from poor pacing and at times prolonged scenes that may have worked well in television dramas, but not cinematically. It’s a shame as we get some decent and good performances from most of the cast and the story of mental illness is well depicted as is Ma’s real life experience entailed.
I rated it 6.5/10