I watched Guang 光 on a half-whim, half because while I didn’t know I was heading to the cinema and I didn’t know about the film until today, I had thought of watching a movie and had checked for possible can-watch movies just before I went for my driving lesson.
Guang is a story about a pair of brothers, one of whom is autistic and has a penchant for collecting glasses (the drinking type). Based in Kuala Lumpur and directed by Quek Shio Chuan, the film was an authentic blend of sentiment, humour, empathy, and love. I particularly loved how natural the dialogue felt, and also the bigger-than-life scenes of Guang’s elation because I’m pretty sure/hopeful that they are representations of how the protagonist felt.
This is the second movie I’ve watched this year, the first being Captain Marvel a couple of weeks ago. It seems a little ridiculous to compare these two movies because they are as different as they possibly can get, but there I was, minutes after the lights went back on, evaluating both shows against each other.
Captain Marvel is a huge show. It’s big on everything — the budget, the actors, the plot, the intergalactic setting etc. There are aliens and super powers and supreme intelligences. Humans are the hapless beings, serving only to foil a plan, or squirm as hostages, or die as collateral damage. Agent Fury no doubt realised that because look who decided to set up a superhero task force. That’s fine, superhero shows have a place in cinema and I’m waiting to book tickets for the next Avengers movie.
Watching Guang, on the other hand, made me feel less helpless, more hopeful, and more assured of our tenacity. It’s a small story set in a small cinematic world, but the introspection it provides beats any intergalactic alien war.