Murmur of the Hearts

Murmur of the Hearts ★★★½

Murmur of the Hearts is a reflective, understated family drama depicting how difficult it is to let go of painful childhood memories. It’s a melancholy and wistful film, alternating between past and present and making good use of dreamy flashback scenes and striking visuals. Although the story moves at a glacial pace, the mystery of each character’s memories is unfolded in such a beautifully touching way. The film stars Isabella Leong, who makes her long awaited return to the big screen after a hiatus from acting. It’s great to see her in movies again and I hope she sticks around for good. In the story, she plays an illustrator who keeps getting haunted by visions from the past, particularly those concerning her mother. The rest of the cast includes Leong’s boxer boyfriend and her estranged brother, both of whom are also troubled by certain events in their childhood. Leong’s mother is played by Angelica Lee, by the way. She worked with Leong in The Missing, which is Leong’s last acting job before her break (it’s a terrible Tsui Hark movie that everyone should avoid, though). So it’s awesome to see them paired up again, especially since this one’s a much better movie. Overall, Murmur of the Hearts is a nice drama by Sylvia Chang. This is my first time watching one of Chang’s films with her behind the camera (she’s also a popular Hong Kong actress). Good to know that there are other great Chinese female directors besides Ann Hui currently working today.

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