Lilting, film review: Raw emotions, jealousy, bereavement - and plenty of humour

(15) Hong Khaou, 86 mins Starring: Ben Whishaw, Pei Pei Cheng, Peter Bowles

Geoffrey Macnab
Thursday 07 August 2014 23:42
Comments
Dance away the heartache: Naomi Christie and Ben Whishaw in Hong Khaou’s tender, perceptive chamber piece‘Lilting’
Dance away the heartache: Naomi Christie and Ben Whishaw in Hong Khaou’s tender, perceptive chamber piece‘Lilting’

The writer/director Hong Khaou's chamber piece boasts some wonderful performances from veteran Chinese actress Pei Pei Cheng, Ben Whishaw and the still dapper Peter Bowles.

Much of the story is set in an old people's home where Junn (Cheng) is living. She is visited regularly by Richard (Whishaw) but has no idea that her son, who has died, was Richard's lover. Junn speaks barely a word of English but is still being courted by her fellow resident Alan (Bowles).

Khaou is dealing with some very raw emotions, jealousy and bereavement among them. He probes away at the misunderstandings and bad feelings between the young, gay British man and the elderly Chinese-Cambodian woman.

The flashbacks are seamlessly integrated. There is plenty of humour here too, much of it courtesy of Bowles' raffish old charmer. The film was clearly made on a tiny budget but in its slow-burning way it is subtle, perceptive and very moving.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in