FEATURE – Everybody’s fine is a 2016 Comedy/Family Chinese movie about an aging father who wants to create more memories with his family before time consumes him. He was a geologist so he seldom spent time with his kids. Now, his sons and daughters are all grown-up and he tries to fill in the gap of their relationship.
First off, I’d like to start my review by giving my opinion about the dialogue. It was not striking as it ought to be. Perhaps because I’m not Chinese and I have little knowledge about their culture so I don’t understand the flow of the dialogue. But the characterization caught my attention. They have distinctive attributes but they have the same purpose. They struggle individually and still found the peace of mind within the comfort of their family. Like for example, the oldest daughter has a problem with her marriage and she didn’t tackle it until his father pays her a visit. The father didn’t expect that his children are having a hard time dealing with life because he didn’t hear anything from them. They hide their personal problems from him. Their mother always hid things from their father. So their father didn’t have any idea on what’s going on with their lives.
What really define this film more? For me, it’s the execution of the scenes. Sometimes, a scene can already tell a certain story without performing a certain dialogue. In the movie, every time the father wants to recall his sons and daughters, he always imagines them as their childlike selves. It means his absence throughout their adolescences makes him want to go back on those years when they are still youngsters and create more memories with them. Another scene is when the father and the family of her oldest daughter are eating supper and the father read his memoir out loud dated back on their wedding day. The daughter made his father stop from reading more of his point-of-view statements. And on that moment, everything just stopped from moving. The husband is staring at her wife, and the wife just stared at the food, while her father glanced at them. It sends out a message for the audience. The marriage is crumbling down and yet their father doesn’t know a thing about it and he even dare to evoke the memories so that triggers her oldest daughter. For me, the scene also means that her daughter is the one who cause the marriage to fall.
My favorite scene is when the father was on the verge of death and he dreamt of talking to his children on their youngster state while disclosing their adult state problems. It was genius. But I don’t like the turning point of the story. The turning point is where the father got robbed and because of that he had a heart attack which causes him to be hospitalized and dreamt. And that made his family to be together and finally appreciate their father. If I will to create an alternate turning point, it would be the part where the father pays them visit individually and that would make them realize the wonderful gesture of their father. Why would make a scene when an old man got robbed? And did I mention that on that event, his memoirs got washed by the rain and that’s it. There is no explanation on where the memoirs are until the end. I think the memoirs are one of the vital elements of the film, but they didn’t justify it. I waited but they divert the story. But still, it’s a good movie and I enjoyed watching this family type of genre. -JM LEAÑO