Silk on the senses 《诡丝》

Silk posterSome movies you see with the eyes. Some movies, you see with the mind. And some movies, you see with your heart. With《诡丝》’Silk’, you need to use all these senses… which is why movies like this one are so hard to talk about; you need to tell the whole story before being able to dissect why each component made this movie a good catch. To watch and take away what this film spoke, is better than to be retold.

Being a horror movie aficionado, few horror flicks can admit me as a Fear Factor candidate. But Silk had 2 scenes that gave me a good fright. No, that’s an understatement. If the level of fright could be measured, it would be the one or two centimeters that my butt jolted out of the seat. I hadn’t had the satisfaction to be that startled for a long time… a long, long time.

I won’t go into the technical details of the story and plot. What it impressed on me was the struggle between science and humanity to objectify or romanticize spiritually. Spirituality here is not grappling with religious or worshipped idols, but ghosts. In the movie, from a scientific angle, ghosts are magnetic energies left behind by a deceased; and on a humanistic level, ghosts are the spirits of loved ones who lingered on because they couldn’t let us go; so they stayed behind to wait for our demise so that we can join them. So there was the understanding and misunderstanding of what that thin thread of silk held to connect the living with the dying, or dead.

Of course the movie had its loopholes and falls such as how science could actually isolate and capture a spiritual energy. But that concept is incomprehensible when everything is reduced to molecules, atoms, and nuclei. The movie is also an Asian Benetton ad with its cast hailing from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and China. That mix worked pretty well accept for the recurring cardboard ‘extras’ that neither had depth, nor credible acting skills.

And at the end of the movie where Zhang Zhen questioned the presence of his mother’s ‘ghost’… was it because she hated him so much that her spirit lingered out of grievance? But when the truth be revealed, her spirit stayed past its ‘expiry date’ out of love. All she wanted to do was the simple chore of cooking a hard-boiled egg for her son before her spirit is willing to depart. Once her act of love was completed, she had nothing else left in this world to hold her back. She finally departed.

And I thought of my mum. Of the bottles of water, or herbal tea that she leaves every night in my room. Every night. Whether I come home or not. Without fail.

That love is the silk that connects us.

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