monsoon

★★★

director: Hong Khaou (lilting, spring)


starring: henry golding, parker sawyers, molly harris and van lam vissay

REVIEWER: lyall carter

Kit returns to Ho Chi Minh City for the first time since he was six-years-old when his family fled the country in the aftermath of the Vietnam-American war.

Henry Golding seemingly arrived out of nowhere with the hit, global sensation Crazy Rich Asians. Since then he has appeared in the more mainstream fare of A Simple Favor, Last Christmas, and The Gentlemen

 

In Monsoon we finally get to see Golding unleash his complete acting potential with a performance of devastatingly honest performance in a film that is a little pedestrian at times. 

 

Kit returns to Ho Chi Minh City for the first time since he was six years old when his family fled the country in the aftermath of the Vietnam-American war. Struggling to make sense of himself in a city he’s no longer familiar with, he embarks on a personal journey across the country that opens up the possibility for friendship, love and happiness.

 

At the heart of Monsoon is the search for one's place in the world. Kit’s struggle for identity and belonging in an unfamiliar world, stuck between multiple competing and seemingly vastly different ways of life, is on full display. These themes have been explored in recent films such as Crazy Rich Asians and The Farewell, but director Hong Khaou does so here in such a way that this theme is not on the periphery or slightly implicit but front and centre.

 

The pacing of the film, however, will be pedestrian for some with some walking away feeling like nothing much happened in the film. Even though for me it seemed a little slow at times, the real journey is one of Kit’s self discovery, belonging and finding love and friendship.

 

Henry Golding is a superb actor and his past performances have been fantastic. But here, in more indie fare, his complete array of acting prowess is on full display. It’s an extremely tender performance, that's never overtly obvious or over dramatic but is simply real. Golding’s performance is worth the ticket price alone. 

 

In Monsoon we finally get to see Golding unleash his complete acting potential with a performance of devastatingly honest performance in a film that is a little pedestrian at times. 

★★★

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