Starry Starry Night – Film Review

Starry Starry night is Taiwanese ‘fantasy drama’ which is based upon a novel by Jimmy Liao. The film is about a girl called Xiao Mei (Xu Jiao) who befriends a misbehaving new boy at school, Xiao Jie (Lin Hui-Min) after she protects him from bullies. There friendship soon begins to grow, with each learning different things from each others lives. Xiao Jie shoplifts for fun, and teaches Xiao Mei the tricks of the trade. Xiao Mei often talks about the stars in the night sky that were visible from the house where she used to live with her grandparents, in a small village away from the city. She yearns to return there, but can’t due to her parents strict control. After the tragic death of her grandfather and the news of her parents divorse, Xiao Mei and Xiao Jie both run away together, to go and visit the house of her beloved grandfather.

Throughout the film there is the running theme of the ‘Starry Starry Night’ jigsaw puzzle that Xiao Mei is trying to complete, with her finding out that a piece is missing from the puzzle. After getting lost in the forests, Xiao Mei becomes ill only to be rescued and returned home by Xiao Jie. They share stories from each others lives, and find out that they both have dysfunctional families, with Xiao Jie’s mother running from her ex husband (Jie’s father), and that’s why he has moved schools several times.

Xiao Jie eventually has to leave school, due to his father finding their address and forcing his mother to leave. Later, Xiao Mei gets sent the final piece of the puzzle she was finishing  in the mail. Years later, Xiao Mei lives in France with her daughter and family. She spots a shop selling jigsaws with pieces missing, and walks inside to find the same ‘Starry Starry night’ jigsaw on display, with the exact piece missing as hers.

I enjoyed the film, as I thought there were a lot of running messages and themes throughout the film, with clever ways of connecting them subtly. The acting was very good, and some of the locations were stunning to see even on a small screen. I would recommend this film to anyone, however it again is quite long which I believe to be a common characteristic with these kind of films.


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