Mo shu wai zhuan (Til Death Do Us Part/Love for Life)

Maybe it is meant to be something of an arthouse tragicomedy, but the script has peculiar odd ways preventing us to cry or smile. Nearly all deaths happened off screen, one in extreme long shot; unfunny humorous scenes. And then our protagonists aren’t the most charming bunch either. They keep using their illness as an excuse to act eccentric or get what they want from neighbors and family members: food, divorce, remarriage.
Maybe the filmmaker doesn’t want this to be just another predictable melodrama or your casual tear-jerker, and really it doesn’t have to. But audiences do have the right to feel at least a little bit sympathy for these ‘less fortunate’ people.
We don’t want to be sidelined, brushed aside, like those bullied (portrayed as prejudiced and ignorant) villagers in the movie.

My Rating: 3/10

3 thoughts on “Mo shu wai zhuan (Til Death Do Us Part/Love for Life)

  1. HIV people DO NOT USE their illness as an excuse to act eccentric or get what they want from neighbors and family members. HIV is a very serious illness that is killing many people everyday. This movie allows the audience know the reality of life for HIV people – how they are discriminated by the society, how they had to suffer from broken relationships because if their illness, and how they live every hour, every minute and every second of the day, knowing that they don’t have a very short life they can enjoy. The actors, actresses, especially the protagonists, Aaron Kwok and Zhang Ziyi, did a spectacular job in carrying out the reality of life for HIV couples. I believe this movie deserves 10/10.

    • I agree that this movie do not give the idea of “using certain illness” as an excuse. Those people were abandon by their society and even worst their family. Their wife and husband do not accept them anymore (as for me we suppose to stand by each other and take care of each other for better or worse). Nobody there will hire them for a job. And still I see that they paid for what they bought, didn’t they? In one scene, the shop owner try to avoid touching the money by using a tongs.

      And then in the middle of all the exiled life, they found a new love, which truly understand each other. What would they/we do? Realising that there’s probably only for a short time.

    • Great opinions and I absolutely agree with both of you!
      REAL HIV people never act eccentric or use their illness as any excuse. Many of them keep on living with dignity to their last days.
      I understand your point. I know the filmmaker wanted to show that in so many cases, especially in undeveloped countries (rural China is undeveloped), HIV people receive so much discrimination, even cruelty, from their society.
      That is reality.
      But in the movie, the villagers never pose so much threat to the HIV infected people. They’re just very very afraid. So the HIV people VOLUNTEERED to relocate themselves to the school building. And there’s where the problem started.

      Kwok’s character’s wife didn’t kicked him out or ask him to have an affair. Okay, Ziyi’s character’s husband did threw her out, but the affair is their own making so it is their own responsibility as adults.
      And that’s getting to the divorce, selling Kwok’s father house, the remarriage, etc.
      So in that sense, the couple did destroy their own relationships with their spouses and families. Not exactly their society or even their illness to blame, right?

      Maybe the filmmaker doesn’t want a blatant black and white story, I can understand that. But portraying the villagers as ‘cruel’ to Kwok and Ziyi are just not quite fit and ‘unfair’ in this kind of setting. The villagers probably will treat them just as cruel in term of their extramarital fling EVEN if they don’t have any HIV/AIDS.

      So, just like you, I want to watch a good movie about HIV discrimination, I did want to give it 10/10 rating, but I didn’t have it in this one. Kwok and Ziyi are GREAT as usual. The main problem is just how the filmmaker, after trying so much not to be black and white, turned out to be so discriminating to their own characters, portraying them as SELFISH.
      That is NOT reality. This is NOT true. NOT REAL.
      HIV people is NOT selfish people. It’s almost like back in the days when AIDS was considered as “homosexual people’s disease”. HIV is not “the selfish people” disease.
      Thank you so much for your comments!

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