Eat Drink Man Woman, written by Ang Lee, James Schamus and Hui-Ling Wand and directed by the former
9 out of 10
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
Ang Lee is the creator behind a great story.
Eat Drink Man woman has been included on The New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made List, available here:
In a way, I thought of this as a Taiwanese version of King Lear.
The hero has three daughters and two move from his house in the first part.
But apart from certain similarities, this is a very different tale.
The hero, Mr. Chu is not a king, but a master chef.
The director is the famous Ang Lee, winner of two Academy Awards and a creator with an evident ability to helm any type of film:
- The fabulous Brokeback Mountain, spectacular Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Life of Pi and…Hulk, among others
The film is a drama, but also a meditation, an invitation to think on important issues, three love stories or more.
The main character has some very poignant lines concerning everything from food, which is present throughout, to the meaning of life:
- “Chu: Eat, drink, man, woman. Basic human desires. Can't avoid them. All my life, that's all I’ve ever done. It pisses me off. Is that all there is to life?”
I sympathize with Mr. Chu, I have only one daughter and find it difficult to cope with, but he has three.
And all three have some issues, with Jia Jen, the chemistry teacher in the forefront I thought, with a hopeless case.
She seems to have had a love story- although the veracity of her statements is in question at one moment- that ended badly.
Jia Jen is inflexible, upset, and somewhat hard on her students, closed to new encounters and apparently destined to remain in the house of her father.
Only the unexpected happens and she starts getting poems on her desk that at first enrage her and then puzzle the introverted woman.
She even has a sort of breakdown, shouting over the school’s microphone and challenging the anonymous writer.
But there is Post Traumatic Growth and the recluse changes hair style, dress and even finds an interesting man.
Jia- Ning’s story appeared the most simple, for she works in a fast food restaurant, becomes pregnant and leaves the house of Mr. Chen.
The most interesting for this viewer was the narrative that involves the third daughter, who is an airline executive.
She is very successful and the boss wants her to take a position as the vice-president and to move to Amsterdam.
Jia-Chen has just bought an apartment and has other complications in her private life, albeit this promotion is a big step in her career.
The young woman is the most beautiful and attractive of the three and she is pondering her options, taking a surprising step.
Humor is also present in this remarkable psychological drama, wherein the hero offers a surprise of his own.
To avoid any spoilers, I will just say that he has an involvement of his own and an announcement is expected, over a big meal.
I and one of the women concerned thought that he will make a choice, but he wants to live with an unexpected partner.
The one who wished and was convinced that is the Chosen, has a fit and falls off her chair when she hears The Breaking News.