Teen Movie Review: The Farewell

Library TakeoutTeens D.C.

Teen Movie Review: The Farewell

SYEP employee, India Wilson, gives her insights on this 2019 dramedy

Review by India Wilson, 2020 MBSYEP Employee

I initially became interested in this movie since the genre was comedy and I could never say no to a good laugh. Also, seeing Awkwafina as a featured actress intrigued me to watch. While watching her in Crazy Rich Asians, I found her to be incredibly funny and entertaining. I really enjoy seeing comedic females such as Awkwafina have a main role in movies. Deciding to watch this movie was a no brainer for me. The movie, without fail, gave me the laughs I was initially looking for along with some unexpected teary-eyed moments. The movie is worth watching.

The movie takes place in China. Billi’s (Awkwafina) family is there to plan and take part in a fake wedding as a way of fulfilling the wishes of her Grandmother who is expected to die in a couple of weeks. Yet, the dying family member herself does not know they are dying so soon, or that the wedding is fake, or that the fake wedding is a way of the family secretly saying their farewells to her so that she will have a peaceful and fulfilling ending to her life.
Despite the movie being advertised as a comedy and having comedic aspects to it, there were also some serious aspects to the movie. This was clear through the actor's portrayal of the importance of family and their immense fear and pain of anticipating the loss of a family member. It was surprising to see Awkwafina, who is known for her comedic talent, able to handle such a serious role. Awkwafina did very well in showing the close bond Billi and her grandmother had in the movie. She also displayed how it was hard for her character to not reveal her true feelings, despite how painful it was for her. It felt so real.

This movie easily became one of my favorites because of the actors’ performances, the storyline and the character development. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in comedies because it was so entertaining. Despite the plot centering on a sad event, it was enjoyable because the movie was still able to add funny moments to balance out the seriousness of the storyline. The majority of the movie is in Chinese, but it is subtitled. If you are more interested in watching a fully English dubbed movie than this can be a deal-breaker. This movie is a very authentic look at Chinese culture, and is lighthearted and entertaining. The characters really displayed the importance of family through this false narrative to say their goodbyes without revealing their true reasons. You could see the pain of each family member as they had to go along with the lie which made me sympathize with them even more. The ending is very satisfying and it shows a surprisingly good outcome for this heartwarming, yet funny movie. The movie definitely deserves its high ratings and awards.

Watch The Farewell on Kanopy or place a hold on the DVD. 

To read more blog posts from teens, please visit Teen's Corner.