What does not kill you makes you stronger
A special gaze on an ordinary love story....that is director Tan Chui Mui`s gaze on the subtle emotions of love. Aping has moved to Kuala Lumpur from Penang and works at her aunt`s restaurant. She frequently calls her boyfriend in Penang to overcome her loneliness in the strange city. When she starts dating the persistent John she begins to experience subtle emotional changes.
From this moment onwards, director Tan Chui Mui starts analyzing Aping`s complicated psyche. Even after Aping falls in love with John, she still calls her boyfriend and tells him - in front of John - that she loves him. Is love merely an expedient means for Aping to overcome her loneliness?
To express such subtle and complicated moments, Tan Chui Mui embeds painful depictions of Aping`s loneliness throughout the film. Aping`s non-expressiveness has an appealing, listless quality that one sometimes senses in a late afternoon. Can Aping overcome all things through love? The film`s final twist makes us aware of its paradoxical title. This debut piece by a female director is remarkable in its portrayal of the peculiar flow of hushed emotions.
......I understand better now why you told me in Locarno you wanted to explore cinema by many ways... I can't say "Love Conquers All" is completely achieved but I'm impressed by so many things that the film confirms completely the talent shown with the 3 gifted shorts I saw in Locarno.
First of all, your actress encapsulates many emotions emerging secretly as a woman taken by "love". Till the end, we still asking ourselves what means "love", what can be the reasons to research love, to be loved, what to sacrify for love. Thanks to you, we enter the intimacy of that young girl with (almost) no past and with an uncertain future. Love conquers all, or love destroys everything, or love deceives all?
I particularly appreciated your sense of timing. As many filmmakers you probably don't know, you succeed to play with time - and time passing, and waitings - to express different inner feelings. Many shots are still in my memory. If they exist so strongly, it's also because they have the right length, their own identity, sometimes their own violence (particularly at the end). When you shoot for instance your actress accepting to see a man for getting money, we just see her back and the guy, then her shoulders. We guess all. And you cut to her face in/out the car. Impressive! We guess then she was kicked, maybe violated. And again a long shot when she goes with the same famous black dress to the sea. I could quote many other scenes where I feel you are filmmaking with an great sensitiveness and a personal point of view on human beings....