Bronze Label

Little Big Women (2020)

8.5/10

“Little Big Women” tells an intimate family story about a dominant mother that still tries to run the family restaurant. Meanwhile her children have to deal with their own problems. However, most of the different dramatic storylines are being triggered by the passing of the estranged father.  

This movie is basically one big family drama that is triggered by this one event. Overall, I did not perceive “Little Big Women” as an overdramatic story, but I can imagine that some people would. One thing is for sure, and that is that it feels like an authentic family story. The mother of the family is very dominant, but at the same time she really acts like a convincing loving mother, and grandmother who built the family business from almost nothing. This is exactly what makes this movie so great. Additionally, there are many camera shots that are artistic and beautiful. It also shows the beauty of Taiwan and its different rituals. To be honest, there is nothing bad at all about this film, and the acting and characters are also amazing. 

So the question is why don’t I consider this to be a perfect film? Firstly, there was one flashback scene which was not realistic because the father left his jacket behind. This felt not part of the scene at all because it didn’t make sense for the character to do this (yes it was too hot, but he still needed it). Additionally, it would be too dramatic if this specific action was done on purpose. However, there were scenes which might be considered too dramatic, but I didn’t perceive most of them as such because it was very fitting for these specific scenes. One example is the karaoke scene which is indeed melodramatic, but it does give us a better insight into this character. 

There is not much else to say except that you can argue that “Little Big Women” is not about change. Most of the characters remain the same which means that not much of character development is happening. This could be considered as something negative because the dramatic story of this family simply goes on, and on until the end. However, this might exactly be the reason why this movie feels so realistic. If there was true character development, in the sense of change, going on then we might have ended up with a film which was not very realistic. What it really comes down to is balance between these two aspects. And because this movie was filmed in an artistic way we can confidently say that this was a good choice because the focus is on the realistic aspects of the story which takes place in Taiwan. This specific topic would have been filmed, and written, totally differently if this didn’t take place in Taiwan. The main reason for this is that this film really tries to portray the Taiwanese culture. Maybe as a foreigner this is the exact reason why I love this movie so much because it shows the beautiful environment that is mixed with a dark, but authentic, family story. Maybe the Taiwanese audience perceives this film totally different, but as a foreigner this was a great introduction into the Taiwanese film industry.

Therefore the only conclusion that I can make is that “Little Big Women” is a great drama to watch. However, if you are not in the mood for such a serious topic then you might want to watch this film another time. Yes, at times it can be intense, but for a very good reason. Moreover, this could be an introduction for some people into not only  Taiwanese, but also Chinese films which cover serious topics. This film really shows the world that we have to pay more attention to Chinese, and Taiwanese films. 

Director: Joseph Chen-Chieh Hsu. Writers: Maya Huang (screenplay), Joseph Chen-Chieh Hsu (screenplay).

Cast:
Shu-Fang ChenLin Shoying
Ying-Hsuan HsiehChing
Vivian HsuYu
Ke-Fang SunJiajia

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