MONSOON

★★★

LOOK AT LOSS OF CULTURAL IDENTITY MISSES THE MARK

MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
By Chris dos Santos
20th February 2020

As a filmgoing public, we are slowly becoming more and more accepting of more and more cultures and their stories. In terms of gay cinema, excitingly, the fact the film has a gay protagonist isn't the selling point - it's the story that draws the audience in. 'Monsoon' is one of those films that adds to this new direction.

After the death of Kit's (Henry Golding, 'A Simple Favour', 'Crazy Rich Asians') parents, he returns to Vietnam for the first since his family left for Britain when he was a young child. He is set on finding the perfect resting place for his parents before his brother arrives in a week, going on a journey of the past while facing his own demons. As he reconnects with past friends, he also starts to fall for Lewis (Parker Sawyers, 'Zero Dark Thirty', 'Greta'), an American who is in Vietnam to oversee the production of his clothing business.

'Monsoon' is one of those movies where you can see the good film buried underneath - the intent is there, but it gets lost in favour of long, drawn-out takes and static shots. At only 85 minutes, the film still feels like it could be trimmed and refined.

The film stays extremely surface level with its conversations about identity in relation to your background and how moving away from your homeland can make you become out of touch with your family's roots, but the film doesn't do much with those details besides bringing it up.

'Monsoon' is one of those movies where you can see the good film buried underneath. At only 85 minutes, the film still feels like it could be trimmed and refined.

Golding gives a very emotional performance, but it's unfortunately lost as 'Monsoon' is simply uninteresting. Everyone's intention here means well, but the final film is just a waste. That's not to say the film isn't worth watching - it opens the door to the conversation of cultural identity, and is worth a small applause for its portrayal of a gay relationship.

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