Movie: A Sun (阳光普照)

From my record I seem to watch maybe one film a month.

Here's what I just watched on Netflix! I was missing Taiwan and wanted to watch something made there. I just wanted to hear the TW accent, see TW roads and everything.

Title: A Sun 阳光普照
Genre: Drama
Country: Taiwan
Year: 2019

I giggled at the start. Like how scenes of HDBs are iconic and used in almost every other SG film, or how a train / road crossing features in Japanese films/anime, riding a motorbike (especially at night) is the scene you had to have for Taiwan films.

A misty night with rows and rows and rows of motorbikes. I miss TW so much!

Warning: Things got gory in the first five minutes of this movie. I put my hands in front of the laptop to self-censor lol.

What's the movie about: This drama is about a family dealing with the arrest and incarceration of the younger son. Tragedy after tragedy falls upon them and the family strains to live life and be happy.

This is Dad, an instructor at a driving school. He only acknowledges his older, accomplished son and pretends that his younger son does not exist.

Chen Jian Hao, the older, illustrious son. Seen here with a romantic interest and a love story that I felt mostly distracted from the main story.

Mum who takes the brunt of burdens in the family.

Chen Jian He, our protagonist. 


The total duration is 2h 36min but does not feel as such. Without giving away the plot, the movie is not action packed nor a slow dramatic burn (think Minari). There is no major dramatic build up but the story held my attention. You root for the character but even so, the dread you feel for him is not as intense.  The movie somehow strikes a nice balance for us to really just 'view' and not experience. 

I'm not sure if I'm expressing myself well here, but I mention this because I just read the book 'The Gods Will Hear Us Eventually' by Jinny Koh, and it was a tremendous whirlpool of negative emotion that really strikes dread and depression in your heart. I'm somewhat glad that though this movie was dark, it was not as... dreadful to experience? Despite it all, we are basically looking at how an 'ordinary' family copes with what life throws at them ie. to the best of their ability and with a 'one step at a time' attitude. 

This is very realistic to me. They may not win at life, but they plod on and continue to survive despite the struggles they face. Isn't it like this for most of us? Life is not really like a movie where there's this golden moment in time where things suddenly take a turn for the better and then magically have a happy ending. It really is more like a series of events with ups and downs, and we never know what's coming next, and can only calmly face the next event. 

As for the ending, I know we're not supposed to be too happy about it (morally) but I thought that it was somewhat moving. I guess it's because the viewers will tend to be biased towards the MC. 

The ladies in the show also deserve all the love. They are the quiet pillars of the family. Never a complaint, nary a look of disdain despite everything thrown at them. Just unconditional love. Gosh. Not sure to think of them as saints or feel sorry for them. 

Nopes for me

There were some strange parts in the film that felt discordant - I am somehow supposed to believe that MC, who is smaller in size and the newbie in the cell, can somehow survive/be left alone in peace despite a rocky start with his (intimidating) cellmates? Ehhhh? 

Thought 2: You can order 铁蛋 (iron egg - a type of stewed egg sold in Taiwan) in jails???

The humour... did not make me laugh. Most of the time the situation was too gloomy and tense for me to even crack a smile for slapstick..

It's nice to get to watch a movie! Oh, forgot to mention that this film won a bunch of awards too. Hope to find another good movie to watch. 

If you watched it, what did you think of it?