‘The Farewell’ Review: The Burden of Preserving One’s Happiness at the Expense of that of Another Family Member


I remember all too well what it felt like to never properly say goodbye to my own loved ones. In writer-director Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, there’s a certain sense of pain and awkwardness present in knowing the truth but keeping everything secret from other family members only as a means of preserving their happiness. Sometimes I even wonder if my late uncle had a peaceful death as I’d like to think, but I look back at those moments and remember how I was also about to enter one of the most important periods of my life too, which was a cause for celebration. Even then I remember all too well about how hard it was to truly feel as if I could celebrate an occasion of that sort because I knew that somewhere else in my family, we only want to see those who we love most at their happiest – sometimes to the cost of our own. There were moments that felt almost like they could become difficult to think back upon, but if there’s anything else that makes The Farewell so beautiful, it’s the very thought that the film also makes looking back at the film even more rewarding.

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