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So Long, My Son (2019) – English Review

We follow a married couple who experience good and bad things over several decades. The worst thing they experience is losing their son in a drowning accident. That deprives them of living a normal life, because the government won’t allow them to be happy. But they stand tall, even though they have received several hard blows in the stomach.

So Long, My Son is a long movie with a runtime of three hours. I felt like the movie was getting a little long until I let it sink in the last hour. This is a sad movie where we see how unfair life can be. We also see how China is growing economically over decades. But that isn’t interesting to see, and So Long, My Son, fortunately, doesn’t spend many minutes on it. It’s the dark and sad story of the couple and their friends, which is the focus of the movie.

The actors are superb. You feel you see and follow down-to-earth characters, and I felt so much sympathy for the unfortunate couple who never get over the loss of their son. They adopt another boy, but they don’t accept him. He isn’t their biological son.

The movie never dives deep inside the mind of the boy and his inner emotional life. But it doesn’t matter, as this is never his journey. It’s his parent’s, and their friends journey. They don’t accept him because of their grief. Nor is he the son they wanted, it seems. Poor boy, but this can happen in reality too. So we learn nothing about who he really is, how he feels, and where his journey takes him when he leaves.

The couple we follow are not perfect people, but they are good people. They are almost too good because one of their closest friends snitches on them, which deprives them of something that would have been precious to them. What a friend! And the couple we follow also forgives this so-called friend! But then it turns out that the son of the snitch also carries a dark secret. You sense he’s hiding something early in the movie, but the movie holds his secret close to its chest for a very long time.

But there is a bigger problem here. It’s a little difficult to follow the timeline. Pay close attention! So Long, My Son jumps a lot back and forth in time, so it’s best to have a sharp mind when you sit down to watch the movie. I was following the story closely, and my mind was on fire the day I watched the movie. Yeah baby, yeah!

So Long, My Son is a heavy movie, but you join a fantastic and interesting journey if you have the patience for it. This is a human drama at its best. And the movie is visually beautiful to look at, and the score is also great and sore. This is one of the best movies made in 2019!

Rating: 9/10

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