by: Fathrize Liam S. Ceñedoza
As odd as movies can be, Red Amnesia can be counted as an odd film which will make you think twice about life. The movie contains scenes where you will question whether the things you are doing for a long time is really right or is it an illusion of right established by a changing society for the satisfaction of being a part of this ever shifting environment.
This 115 minutes movie started with a slow drama depicting a old woman’s life, Deng Meijuan portrayed by veteran actress Lu Zhong, building pressure and suspense throughout the movie. There is an uncomfortable sensation watching Deng do her daily routine comfortably. This builds the tension with the depiction of calm before a storm.
Deng’s routine includes her giving unwanted care for her first son, jun, and his family. her daughter-in-law openly shows her dislike of Deng’s habits. This is the depressing portrayal of reality that children neglects the parents after making and starting their own family. It shows the struggle of an old lady trying to fit in a society where she is not familiar with and a place where she has a house but is not quite her true home.
Another minor conflict in the movie is the life of Deng’s second son, Bing. As a homosexual, he is not quite accepted by his conventional mother but Deng is still concern and still takes care of Bing. Even though it is evident that Deng does not approve of her son’s lifestyle, her motherly instinct allows her to take care of him still. Director Wang Xiaoshuai did an amazing job with this.
The major conflict in this movie is the problem with the intruder. Not only her life is at take but also her image. Policemen and Deng’s sons do not believe her complains about telephone harassments and blaming her ‘hallucinations’ for her fantasy of having a stalker.This conflict was not taken seriously until Deng’s safety is at stake.
Another important message of the story is Deng’s affection for the unnamed young boy who helped her once on her errand. It led her to dream of him romantically due to lack of attention because she is recently widowed. It is quite disturbing considering the two and their age gap. It also shows how dangers are posted due to Deng’s intention being hospitable to the young boy. Her act of cooking meals for the boy symbolizes her desire desire of taking care of someone and failing thus giving it to other people, even to a stranger.
‘Red Amnesia’ has a theme that tackles not only an individual’s personal issues but also conflicts with family, politics, society and also with the culture and tradition that one holds. It shows the depiction of reality in a society of people you do not know but has a motive yo harm you and the vulnerability of an elderly in a place where they are left with no one to accompany them.
This is the kind of movie that will make you silent and hold on for the next scenes with solemn camera shots and feelings of being stalked. ‘Red Amnesia’ is a movie that talks about not only the elderly but also to the young ones and their life decisions that may affect their future according to their tainted past.