I Still Remember (2021) Review
Showing at the Focus Hong Kong Festival, I Still Remember follows a young man’s life as he struggles to find motivation and purpose.
Directed by Lik Ho, I Still Remember centres around the past events of a slacker called Lee Chi Hang, played by Wu Tsz Tung Tony, as he recounts key moments throughout his life. It begins with him visiting an editor to tell his life story and is told through a series of flashbacks.
Throughout the film we see that Lee’s life isn’t quite as free-spirited as he thinks. He’s in a dead end job that he doesn’t want to progress in and doesn’t attempt any sort of relationships outside of work. There’s nothing exciting going on in his life and he’s simply going through the motions of living. He’s an orphan with no family left either to support him.
It’s not until he becomes reacquainted with former teacher Mr Wong, played by Patrick Tam, that he realises how empty his life is. Mr Wong and his wife were surrogate parents to Lee during his childhood, and continue to help him after being reunited. The only problem is that Mrs Wong is terminally ill, and it’s up to Lee to help out the Wong family instead. The rest of the movie shows Lee assisting Mr Wong in his training camp in order to help a young girl lose weight.
There are so many incredible performances throughout the film
I Still Remember is a drama through and through. It shows that no matter what your issues or troubles at the time, it can help to run it off. To free your mind and focus on what’s in front of you rather than stuck in the past. Every character is running on their own path but end up stuck in the past. It’s only through focusing on the run in front of them can they finally begin to change themselves and improve for the better.
The visuals are tastefully done. Nothing is explicitly drawn to - instead the camera allows you to pick upon things yourself. It shows the talent from the director. You are never directly thrown at the subject, things naturally unravel on screen.
There are so many incredible performances throughout the film that it’s hard to single out just one. The characters of Lee and Mr Wong are two powerful performances that show a true connection of a father and son relationship. Neither of them are connected by blood, but they formed the bonds naturally themselves.
Despite the great performances, the character of Tim Sum is shown as a caricature at times. She is trying to lose weight but seems to have a serious eating disorder. They gloss over it a few times and it can be quite triggering for some. It does highlight the stigma attached to larger people and is tough to watch.
Overall, I Still Remember is a tremendous film. Sure, the stereotype of larger people is outdated but it doesn’t let the film down entirely. There’s a slight issue of flashbacks into flashbacks at the start, but it only lasts a few minutes. The film is full of outstanding performances that’ll leave you feeling melancholic at times. There are laughs, tears and engaging moments throughout to keep you entertained.
For a film full on inspirational moments that'll uplift you, watch I Still Remember.