• Charlie Vogelsang

The First Girl I Loved (2021) Review

The First Girl I Loved follows two teenage best friends recalling their time together and their eventual romantic relationship, diving into the challenges and stigmas attached to queer relationships...

Directed by Candy Ng and Yeung Chiu-hoi, The First Girl I Loved follows Lee Wing Nam (played by Hedwig Tam) and Silvia Lee Sum Yuet (played by Renci Yeung) who both reminisce about their childhood and how a romance blossoms between them in an all-girls school in Hong Kong. Not long into the film, the challenges of a queer relationship are showcased, especially as the girls enter into adulthood and realise the stigmas surrounding homosexuality.

In terms of the cinematography, it is absolutely fantastic at conveying the whimsical tones of youth while adding in a sense of drama. The score and the cinematography complement each other so well, creating something that allows the audience to sympathise and empathise with the characters

The greatest strength of The First Girl I Loved is the believability of the relationship blossoming between the two girls. From the moment the two lock eyes, it’s clear that there is so much chemistry between the women - and it does not feel forced in the slightest. There are so many cute and endearing moments between the characters that you cannot help but smile at.

The First Girl I Loved is an interesting twist on a love story that can be both agonising and beautiful to experience

Another interesting moment in this film is the fact that the fathers are surprisingly supportive of the relationship. However, unfortunately, the film shows that whilst people may have a tolerance for queer relationships, they cannot accept the relationship fully as it could cost their futures and neither see the female relationships as serious. Ultimately, it’s this mentality that drives the most heartbreaking conflicts in the film.

The second half of the film explores the two women navigating being young adults and constantly crossing paths. It can be quite painful to watch as the two women ascend into adulthood, but it does have some bittersweet moments - especially the ending.

The First Girl I Loved is an interesting twist on a love story that can be both agonising and beautiful to experience. Despite some minor hiccups, this film is one that is worth checking out, mainly to see the wondrous relationship blossom and how delightful it is before society's expectations ruin it.


The First Girl I Loved is premiering at Focus Hong Kong's Making Waves festival on the Saturday 9 July at 4:30pm in the Garden Cinema in London. Buy tickets here.