Hear Me

One of my University friends recommended this to me ^^ it’s a Taiwanese movie, but you can find it online with English subs no problem.

Plot: 5/5
I was surprised by this movie. The plot is extremely simple, but it is still very entertaining. I don’t usually go for this kind of movie, the cute-endearing type, but I really liked it.

Tian Kou is a delivery boy for his parents food shop. Under a professor at University he learned some sign language, and so he is given the job of taking lunch boxes to a swimming team training to compete in the Deaflympics (like the Special Olympics in the US, just exclusively for deaf athletes rather than special needs ones). He meets Yang Yang there, a beautiful and cheerful girl who constantly works hard to support for her and her elder sister, who is in heavy training for the competition. He falls for her and she for him, communicating through e-mails and sign language. There is just one thing they don’t know about each other: neither of them is actually deaf, but both think the other is.

Like I said, it’s a really simple plot, but it’s funny and easy to follow.

Acting: 5/5
When I started watching this I was talking to my best friend in Taiwan via MSN. I demanded to know why she never told me of Eddie Peng (the lead actor) ^^. All the actors in this movie are wonderful. I’ve seen a few of them before in other shows, and each gives an outstanding performance. Eddie Peng is *very* cute, and his character is a total dork. When he’s doing sign language half the time I’m not sure if he’s supposed to be making the expressions he is or if he’s just being silly. The female lead is played by Ivy Chen, whose name I’ve heard but I’ve never seen her work before. She does an astounding job, completely amazing. Like I said, even the more background-type characters in this are expertly acted, and I was quite surprised by the overall quality of it.

Directing: 5/5
I was most surprised here. This director seriously deserves an award or something. I’d estimate more than half the movie has no spoken lines, just sign language. You can go half an hour without hearing someone speak, but it doesn’t matter. You never loose interest in watching the characters and even without speaking they manage to deliver a phenomenal performance. The director doesn’t subscribe to the usual Taiwanese style (slightly cartoon-ish humor). Everything is very natural and normal.

Other Things

This movie was created as a kind of promotional piece to gain support for the Deaflympics and raise awareness of deaf people overall. With that kind of mission the movie seems like it would come off as preachy, but it really isn’t. There are some areas (like the long argument about if the lead girl could date a deaf guy and the lead guy’s fight with his parents about if they would accept a deaf girl (again though, neither are actually deaf, they just think the other is)) where it gets kind of preachy, but for the most part it’s fine. Really though the movie is mostly about a love story between the two “deaf” kids, the sports theme isn’t played up as much.

You have to read a lot of subtitles, so younger kids wouldn’t like this. It’s an innocent story anyone can enjoy though, so if you have a kid who can sit and read subtitles without gnawing off the armrest on the sofa then go ahead and try to get them to watch it. I don’t think there is an age limit in either direction (young or old) for this story.

Random thing here: sign language makes me sad. It’s a total missed opportunity. Just think: if each country needs sign language for deaf people, then why not just create one global sign language??? It would be SO COOL if you could just learn sign language and be able to communicate with deaf people from other countries, not just your own! I know sign language is created by tradition and all that jazz, but it would still be really cool if there was universal sign language instead of just tons of individual kinds (it’s like spoken language that way). Ok, mini rant over… *mumbling* I would totally learn universal sign language *mumbling*

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