Director Arvin Chen has two well received short films in the bag, one a straight comedy and the other a romantic story, and with Au Revoir Taipei Chen has blended the two genres with great results.
The film is a great multi-stranded romantic comedy that follows numerous characters that are caught up in the story of a secret parcel, resulting in a surprisingly funny, engaging film.
The film opens with Kai saying goodbye to his girlfriend who has travelled to Paris and during the course of the film, we see him trying to learn French at the local book store and after failing to get the money he needs to travel to Paris, he asks his uncle a favour and agrees if he can pick up and hand him a package. Meanwhile, we also see his slow-building relationship with the employer at the local bookshop.
At the same time we see two police officers who are trying to find out who the criminals linked to the parcel are, the employers of Kai’s uncle’s company decide to steal the parcel and blame it on Kai. We are also introduced to some other characters and we get to see some further insight into each of the individual characters and this is done really well as it does not feel too over crowded and is structured just right.
Arvin Chen’s film is an absolutely brilliant effort and my overall feeling on this film is a very positive one. We follow each character and plot to a wonderful conclusion that hits all the right beats.
The technical choices he made really showed off the gorgeous landscapes, the use of bright whites and colourful lighting works very well with the characters surrounded by advertisements and artificial lighting, which overall made the film look really lovely.
The quality of the camerawork is brilliant and it really looks absolutely beautiful to watch from start to finish. Chen’s choice of the music used during the course of the film was picked good enough that it matched with the quality of the visuals. Each choice was spot on and serves the story perfectly.
My overall view on the film is that it is definitely one of my favourite films at the Edinburgh Film Festival and does have potential to even be one of my favourite films this year.