Harsh stuff about what it means to cope in society that doesn’t approve deviation from social norms, and about not thinking enough about the consequences of one’s action. There’s a lot of desperation, crying, disappointment, wishing in vain, but the story is told in beautiful, slow-paced shots, the quintessence of Asian art house cinema.
This is not an easy watch - it is about mental illness, fetishism and cruelty among other things. It is also beautifully photographed and edited. At times this movie did not so much unfold as folded into itself. This exposed unexpected parallels between characters and their experiences.
*3.5. It was a good character study. A lot of people don't seem to like the 2nd half but I like that J's character developed. I also like the theme that you can come out of something terrible cleansed if you ...better yourself? I'm not sure what that was. But ILI. I wish that was explored more in depth along with a relationship/understanding post-death between B.Y and J; I liked linking Mrs L & J. Probably just me.
This film has a strong contribution to the physiological impact of shame, fear, and guilt. This film amazes me because of the sprouts of unknown actions and the curiosity that develops while watching the film. Essentially i thought this film exemplified a mello thriller but it slowly showed its role as a drama. The characters in this film shape an elliptical story that reveals chu considerate approach within the film
"Carefully modulated and wisely attuned to its strongest elements (Wu's brave first-act performance and the bond between two mourning women in the third)...what starts as an examination of fetishism as a source of shame and isolation morphs into an examination of guilt and catharsis." - E. Kerr, Hollywood Reporter. Oedipal complexities aside, WA is true cinema.
A mixed bag of reviews and strangely enough I agree with both sides. White Ant falls short of being the indie classic it could have been due to what I call the "Psych 101" sequences that only exist to help us understand Bai Yide's "problem". This derails the film at about the halfway point and it struggles to get back. Still - a must see imo. Haunting final image.
A fantastic look at sexual urges, mental health issues, and grief, White Ant may mix things up a bit in ways that aren't always welcome (especially in the way it pushes together the first two elements) but it comes good in the end, benefiting from great performances and excellent writing and direction from Chu Hsien-che (making his narrative feature debut after over 20 years in the field of documentaries).
I find dangerous the correlation between mental illness and sexual fetishes. The low key 'slut-shaming' isn't helping and to be honest I don't think I can take another movie with these mom-son psychocomplexes. It does have some good moments but as a whole it felt disjointed and unbalanced in terms of pace.
An intimate journey into the world of mental illness, isolation, and loneliness. Subtle cinematography with carefully composed frames and great use of light. And those moments of silence... it reminds me of Wong Kar-wai at times - this film definitely has moments of greatness. I feel that if the film ended with the accident and we had the chance to know Junhong and her character, this film would be way more powerful.
(1.5 stars) Mental illness tied in with fetishistic habits... walks a tight line and falls flat on its face. Bad acting (I don't care what language you speak, this was bad) sinks the ship along with a plot that is really ugly and not worth my time. A few good cinematic moments (none of them involving whacking it to the smell of underwear). But that's about it. Ugh.
Aesthetically perfect, beautiful image games and an harmony on the whole result. Impacting how strong moments can be combined with such elegance. Sadly the second part, trying to provoke some questions and trying to focus on her (mother and girl), wasn't able to send a clear message, which in this movie, I think would be necessary.
This movie doesn't really accomplish anything or give us any real insight into sexual fetishism or psychosis. They brood, they masturbate, and they spend a lot of time blaming themselves. One of the characters says that he hears voices in his hair. I wish I heard voices in my hair. It would tell me to not waste my time on this movie.
2.5 Empathetic depiction of the son and his relationship with his mother. What was missing for me was the backstory of the girl who films him. We get no information to understand the girl's insistence on crucifying him (beyond mentions of an ex-boyfriend). So I began to worry about her parrot instead: it is pulling its feathers out and suffering from anxiety. It needs a new owner.