Hear Me (2009)
Directed By: Not Available
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I remember having a conversation one day with a friend i was "educating" in Asian cinema, and giving him a few films, including Hong-Kong, Macau, Mainland and Taiwan. He laughed at the fact that i was making a distinction for something that to him was just "Chinese" films. However, each of those "Chinese" regions have a distinct coloration that permeates their film industry. In the span of a few months, i have seen five really outstanding Taiwanese films. I must admit i have a weakness for films coming from Taiwan: they have a very artsy European feel in terms of the subject matters they touch, their slower pace, and their more contemplative nature. In that respect, they break away from the rest of Asia, although independent South Korean fares come close.
So here, i am going to cover those 5 films briefly: Prince Of Tears, How Are You Dad?, Hear Me, Tears, and Yang Yang. They are all from 2009, a prolific year for Taiwan, and cover epic historical landscapes, intimate personal relationships, quirky romances, and destructive obsessions.
Hear Me (2009) is a romantic comedy that should make you simply happy. It's quirky, sweet, and innocent in a way that American romantic comedies no longer are. The story follows a handsome hard working delivery boy who falls in love with a cute deaf girl whose sister is preparing for a big Swimming competition. Although the film follows a pretty traditional structure (happy, sad, happy again), it is done with a distinct Asian sensibility of falling in love and just holding hands, meeting parents who are all so supportive and so on.
This is a simple film, with great performances, that will make you smile. Is there anything groundbreaking there? No. But the chemistry between the two leads, and all the little things that happen to them is just so well woven together. At the end of the day, that's the strength of this film, and sometimes, you just want to sit, relax, and watch something genuinely sweet and nice. This film delivers just that.
- Laurent Hasson