The Farewell: Review


Lexi Ariete, Contributor

The Farewell is a dramatic comedy, based on the true story on the the movie’s writer and director, Lulu Wang and her family, who attempts to grasp their final moments with their grandmother. Although available at select theaters, the movie is worth the watch.

The movie begins with a girl named Billi, talking to her grandmother, Nai Nai (Grandmother in Chinese). Billi is very close to her grandmother, but unfortunately, had to move from China to the United States when she was very young. In the beginning, Billi is seen to be struggling with money, and waiting on news about her Fellowship. When visiting her parents, she soon finds out that her grandmother has stage four lung cancer, and has only three months to live. In the chinese culture, family members do not tell another relative if they only have a few more moments to live. Shocked and confused, Billi questions whether or not she should inform her grandmother on the news, but because of her culture, her family strongly insists that she should not for her grandmother’s sake. The family puts together a fake wedding, for an excuse for them to go back to their homeland, China.

The film focuses on real world problems that families around the world experience in their lives. Throughout the film the audience can see the family struggle on keeping the secret from their beloved matriarch. They all realize that they took advantage of their time with Nai Nai, and never took the choice of going back to China sooner. Nai Nai can tell that something strange is lingering in the air, that she cannot understand her family’s communication, due to her lack of English. Her family makes excuses that they are either not feeling well, or they ate too much, but when Billi has a one-on-one talk with her grandmother, she tells her about the unfortunate news on her fellowship — another excuse as to why Billi is sad.

The movie follows the quote, “people do not die of cancer — they die of fear,” which makes Billi second-guess her decision on telling her grandmother. Lulu Wang calls it a movie, “based on an actual lie,” since the movie was part of her own personal experience of her family lying to her grandmother. Wang claims that she is glad that she chose not to tell her grandmother, since she is happily living without any worry about what might happen.

The Farewell turned out to be a great success, with many reviews being quite positive. The film was directed by Lulu Wang, and got a phenomenal score of one hundred percent for the Tomatometer, and a ninety-one percent for the audience ratings. In the Top Box Office section on Rotten Tomatoes, The Farewell made $1.6 million, which is amazing for Wang’s first movie since 2014. People are calling it a tear-jerking experience, and the movie made the audience feel as though they were experiencing the lip-quivering emotions along with the characters. Awkwafina took on her first major lead role in The Farewell. Since based on a true story, curious audience members were wondering how the real grandmother is doing currently. Gladly, right before the movie’s credits, they relieved the worries by revealing that she is doing very well, even after being diagnosed six years ago.