So I got a chance to spin up the "Yi Yi" DVD that I bought on a whim a few months ago. I don't want to go into the quality of DVD transfer of the film, please go here if you want to hash it out. I wanted to let the film run in my head for the better part of today before making any comments about it, but I think I'm ready. Spoilers might be revealed (but I'll try not to reveal them - keeping many of my comments directed to those who've seen the film, but trying to also entice others to seek it out as well), so you've been warned. Bear in mind, I haven't listened to Edward Yang's commentary on the film yet. The film features the family of "NJ" who is a Taiwanese businessman, with a daughter (Ting Ting) and a son (Yang Yang), and wife (Min Min), a newly married brother (A-Di), and a grandmother who has suffered a stroke. Using monologues by the characters (as they speak at the bedside of the grandmother stricken with a stroke) is a good device to get a little bit in the heads of the characters and their reflection of what's going on in their lives at the moment. I thought it was interesting in the way Yang was able to create "attachment by detachment", meaning, there are many moments in the film that we, the viewer, see from afar, getting to listen to the dialogue, as the characters interact, but are kept far from us, and yet, this distance does little to keep us from developing feelings for the plight of members in this family going through a series of changes in interpersonal relationships. As a bonus, we get to see the total body language of the characters during the encounters. The parallels that the film draws as each member (the father, the daughter, the son, and even the mother, and brother-in-law) goes through discovery of themselves through finding attraction in another is quite well done and thought provoking. Do we ever stop not wanting to relate to others in complicated ways, even if though we know it'll most likely brings us pain and anguish, and bits of joy sprinkled in for good measure? The whole gamut of emotions that the characters go through as they either embark on new relationships, or strike up old ones is truly haunting in a deja vu sort of way. Decisions you make in life (at all stages) do leave emotional scars regardless of their consequences, but there's still this undercurrent that even though we are attracted to the "what ifs" of our lives, in the end, things work out for the best possible outcome regardless of what our longings would suggest otherwise. It's actually a positive message for living life. When I first completed watching this film, I thought it was okay (loved the little boy who played Yang Yang), but I kept flashing back to the "attachment through detachment" scenes of the characters, and recalling their conversations without having to deal with facial expressions and close-ups, I was able to focus on what was being said, and did not have the non-verbal gestures distract from the conversations. Even the long pauses in the characters conversations create this unspoken dialogue that is fun to fill in the blanks for the characters. The quiet thrills and disappointments of life captured in the film are more stunning upon reflection than during the actual course of viewing the film. Let it ruminate in your head for a bit. There's plenty of meat in this film for movie carnivores to enjoy.