Inside Out 2024: Our Review of ‘All Shall Be Well’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies by - May 26, 2024
Inside Out 2024: Our Review of ‘All Shall Be Well’

Hong Kong director Ray Young follows up his later life queer film Suk Suk with All Shall Be Well. This time around, he focuses on Angie (Patra Au Ga-Man), a recent widow living alone in an apartment. I say recent because she recently lost her girlfriend Pat (Maggie Li Lin-Lin), who dies in her sleep. There’s always a hint of sepia tone but after Pat, the film gets shades of Hong Kong’s dark neon blue. The apartment feels much emptier without Pat, and things get messier as Pat’s brother Shing (Tai Bo) claims that he’s the apartment’s legal owner. What I like about this film is that it’s more of a mosaic than a portrait of its lead, and yes, it shows a lot of Pat’s family but there’s that scene where Angie takes care of her parents.

Those parents exist in All Shall Be Well as a foil for Pat’s family even if there are similarities to both. Angie shoulders the burden of having to pay for her parents’ maid, or their dog’s cataract surgery, among other things. Finances are a universal struggle as well as the volatility that comes when one loses the love of their life. There are other reasons why All Shall Be Well‘s approach works in depicting characters outside of its main lesbian couple. Theoretically, Shing is the ‘villain’ here, but he only ‘becomes bad’ after realising his son’s family’s unique financial troubles. There’s also that scene where he visits Pat’s columbarium where he looks like he genuinely mourns his sister’s sudden passing. Viewers can say the same about the few scenes that Angie shares with her niece in law (Fish Liew). Everyone experiences financial woes but it hits harder watching the struggles of 2LGBT+ people who belong to much older demographics.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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