Everyone probably knows the lead actress Awkwafina as the quirky friend from Crazy Rich Asians. However in The Farewell, she plays Billi, a girl who migrated to the United States from China. She is also a filial granddaughter to her Nai Nai.
She received a devastating news one day that Nai Nai had three more months to live. However, everyone in the family, well except for Billi, decided to keep this a secret. A wedding was organised to cover up the situation and this will allow the entire family to reunite after 25 years. By the way, this movie is actually based on an actual lie! Being raised in the US, Billi believes that Nai Nai should be told the truth. However, in China, most families choose not to tell.
Imagine yourself in this situation, you would also want Nai Nai to know the entire truth. What is interesting about this approach is that you would not allow this to dampen your spirit. However, knowing that you have a “deadline”, you would have a chance to say your goodbyes. I am still debating about this… This movie visuals are stunning. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, you will sob and laugh simultaneously! It explores the culture differences and how the Eastern families deal with death.
Billi’s uncle’s quote sums up the entire movie – “You think one’s life belongs to oneself. But that’s the difference between the East and the West. In the East, a person’s life is part of a whole. Family.”