Monsoon – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Monsoon – Immigrating Home: An Art Storm of Self

Art is a creative application of one’s self.  No matter the form, looking at what reality can provide gives the essence of escape.  You stand watching with questions to observe and grow.  This is the case in life imitating life.  In this review, I look at a foreign drama film that captures the essence of life’s journey.  This film tackles this path through artistry.  Even when things are kept to a minimal aspect, Monsoon is an enrapturing journey of finding your place in this world.   

Kit (Henry Golding) travels back to Vietnam after 30 years of exile.  Standing in a place unknown, he must find that connection of what his heart sees true.  This film characterizes the dynamic of societal indifference within the arthouse method.  The stylings, outline and typical structures that are known are pushed aside for a minimal aesthetic.  This simplistic directive allows for character driven elements to level out all the common tropes (romance, self-discovery and fish out of water) in a believable setting.  This makes visuals and scenarios feel relative on a personal note.  As the story begins, Kit arrives in Vietnam with a sense of lostness but hope.  He struggles coming back but knows he must fulfill his parents’ wishes and bring their ashes back home.  The story is linear but strays from predictability by the palette of societal assimilation.  The actions, mannerism and struggles of Kit are driven by his fragile sense of the unfamiliar, as he attempts to reconnect with Vietnam through his old friend, Lee (David Tran) and romantic partner, Lewis (Parker Sawyers).  As he begins to see the differences in what is known, the setting creates spectacle through simple ‘everyday’ visuals dictating mood and tone.  The slow burn allows for folly and fortune to feel unnerving in Kit and the audience.  You see a man fighting identity within his own ignorance, creating alluring path of reflection.  You see, feel and breathe every aspect of Saigon and Hanoi, seeing it all as if you are a stranger in your own home. 

The visual ques provide the underlining of exposition, giving the reader a ‘drivers view’ to the possibilities of endearing character growth.  Kit begins to reconnect, driven by the aesthetics of his travels.  This slow burn threads in the delicacy of personal thought, a directive that levels within the ponderance of the day.  Seeing scenes stitched by these observations, it levels out ‘forced’ motives of typical filming with actualization of understanding of storytelling of the heart.  It pushes out telegraph scenes and leaves fate in the hands of life itself.  The prodigal connections or obvious, but it is given to you in everyday occurrences.  This happens when Kit knows what is different but realizing what is important.  This leads into an ambiguous ending, but one that revels in the manners of life.  Monsoon goes beyond the typical to give something genuine to self-discovery.  If you are a fan of arthouse, character or foreign films, this is one for you.  It is available on Amazon Prime, but it would be worth seeing at the theaters.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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