Archive for the ‘Yi-Yi’ Category

Yi-Yi – review – Film Comment #3

Film Comment – #3 – Yi Yi – Edward Yang – 2000

“Yi Yi” (“A One, and a Two”) begins with a wedding in which an entire family is together to witness one of the men of their family marry a visible pregnant bride. We meet all the members of this family at the wedding that the film will take place around. The matriarch of the family soon has a tragic accident rendering her in coma. She is placed in the home of her daughter and son-in-law and told by the doctors that every family member needs to talk to her every day, letting them know this will help. It is through their stories to her that we learn about the family.

There is the son who works at a struggling tech company and runs in to an ex lover from his youth, his daughter who struggles with her life in high school and her friends, and his son who is a mischievous boy around 9 years old always getting into trouble with his teachers and classmates. Youth, young adulthood, and adulthood are present. The storylines spread out like limbs on a tree. The matriarch is the roots of the tree, and her children who come back to her and tell their stories to her, in her coma, are the branches.

“Yi-Yi” is an ambitious film attempting to firmly root the viewer into the lives and stories of the characters. The pacing works itself up into a frenzy as the plots thicken and complicates the characters lives along the way. It is a very heartfelt and heartwarming film. It is also extremely long as well tapping out at about 3 hours, and I think that hurts the film. It causes a strain on the viewer and their relationship with the characters. I couldn’t get through the entire thing in one sitting just becoming bored in some parts. I appreciate the intensity and pacing of the film and connecting to these characters, and while all the stories are really great the gaps in between made me lose that connection overall.

Grade: C+