The Boar King (2014)
Director : Chen-Ti Kuo
Screenwriter : Chen-ti Kuo
Cinematographer : Bodo Zheng
Editor : Tse-wen Cheng
Cast : Yi-ching Lu, Chen-nan Tsai, Soda Voyu, l-ting Wu
Music : Cin-cin Lee
The film takes place in a southern village in the mountainous region of Taiwan in the aftermath of a typhoon (a real occurrence that happened in 2009). A father goes missing leaving his wife and daughter who believe him to be dead. Then they find out that invitations to a gathering have been received by other villagers in the father’s handwriting. There isn’t much of a story and what does happen is a very slow burn. We see the characters go through their daily routines. The mother tries to get the hot springs resort that they own working again and the daughter begins to experience a bit of romance.
The cinematography is wonderful, particularly its use of bird’s eye view shots which showcase the natural beauty of the wild forest and mountains. However, the majority of the film is in black and white which I did not feel was a necessary stylistic choice. I was constantly wishing it was all in color.
The director and main actress were in attendance. The director expressed the use of black and white to show a merging of dreams and reality. The story overall was supposed to show how the villagers struggled to rebuild their lives after the typhoon. I felt the film did not really accomplish either task. The acting was good, particularly the actress who plays the mother, but generally I felt there was a distance to the way it was filmed that did not really allow me to fully sympathize with the characters. The daughter’s romance added a bit of very necessary levity but is otherwise mostly boring.