Watch Ilo Ilo
- 1 hr 39 min
Set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Ilo Ilo is a heartwarming drama that explores family relationships, the struggles of parenting, and the challenges of economic downturn. Directed by Anthony Chen, the movie revolves around the lives of a middle-class family, who hires a Filipino domestic worker to take care of their young son, Jiale.
The film starts with the introduction of the Lim family, who are facing financial difficulties due to the crisis. The father, Teck (Tian Wen Chen), works as a sales executive and is struggling to make ends meet, while the mother, Hwee Leng (Yann Yann Yeo), is a busy executive who is rarely at home. Meanwhile, their young son, Jiale (Koh Jia Ler), is often left under the care of his grandmother, who struggles to manage his mischievous behavior.
In an attempt to ease the burden of caring for Jiale, Hwee Leng hires a maid, Teresa (Angeli Bayani), from the Philippines. Teresa quickly becomes a part of the family, providing maternal care to Jiale, who initially rebuffs her. Gradually, Teresa wins the trust of the young boy and helps him to identify and manage his emotions, resulting in a significant improvement in his behavior.
The relationship between Jiale and Teresa forms the centerpiece of the film. Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, the two develop a deep connection and a mutual understanding, which is a delight to watch on screen. Teresa also forms an emotional bond with Hwee Ling, who opens up to her about her personal struggles and marital problems.
As the film progresses, the family's financial situation worsens, and tensions mount between Teck and Hwee Leng. Meanwhile, on the eve of the 1997 Southeast Asian haze crisis, Teresa is faced with a personal crisis of her own, which threatens to upend her life.
Overall, Ilo Ilo is a poignant and touching film that explores universal themes of family, love, and sacrifice. The movie beautifully captures the economic, cultural and societal shifts taking place in Singapore at the time. The performances by the cast are exceptional, with each character bringing a depth and complexity to their roles. In particular, the chemistry between Koh Jia Ler and Angeli Bayani is outstanding, with both actors delivering nuanced and subtle performances.
The cinematography is also noteworthy, with a keen eye for capturing the everyday landscape of Singapore as seen through the eyes of a foreigner. The film also features a superb soundtrack that blends classic Chinese music, contemporary pop, and soulful jazz to create a unique soundscape that heightens the emotional impact of the story.
In conclusion, Ilo Ilo is a must-see film that brilliantly captures the complex emotions and relationships of a family struggling to cope with the realities of economic hardship. The movie is beautifully crafted, with a deft touch that avoids sentimentality whilst still packing an emotional punch. The film won the Camera dâOr award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and is a testament to the power of independent cinema in exploring the human experience with honesty and compassion.
Ilo Ilo is a 2014 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 85.