Lilting (2014)

Lilting UK poster in portrait mode.jpg
Not associated with the soft drink

Director: Hong Khaou
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Starring: Ben Whishaw, Pei-Pei Cheng, Andrew Leung

In his feature length debut, Hong Khaou chooses to focus on a quietly affecting drama which deals with many themes, including communication & loss. Junn (Cheng) is a mother who's lost her son, Kai. Richard (Whishaw) was Kai's long-term boyfriend, who Junn believed to only be a friend to her son. It's evident how much the loss has affected these two people, as Kai was somebody close and dear to both of their hearts. The pain and loss is clearly felt to a heartbreaking degree, thanks to outstanding performances from the two leads. Even though a language barrier separates Whishaw and Cheng, the scenes which involve these two acting off each other is equal parts captivating and moving.

Andrew Leung may only be evident in flashbacks as Kai, but his absence casts a long shadow across the two important people in his life. The bond felt between him and Junn in the first scene alone is felt with such natural ease, while his relationship with Richard is one of the years most beautifully realistic couplings. Both of these relationships are twinged with a sense of sadness at what has been lost, and Hong Khaou puts this across beautifully with not one shot wasted on superfluous filler.

Lilting focuses on the pain and loss that comes with losing somebody close to your heart, and this focus combined with spectacular performances will leave you sorrowful over what was lost. Come awards season, this will most likely be forgotten for bigger named pictures, but it is truly deserving of some nominations.