Hear Me is a cool flick. It follows Yang Yang and her elder sister who are born with hearing disabilities and they communicate using sign language in their daily lives. It is an unlikely love story between one of the sisters and a delivery boy that is surrounded by a cool subplot involving the sisters training to compete in the deaf olympics as swimmers. Eddie Peng plays the sloppy delivery boy who although comical at times, is hardly impressive. One day Yang Yang realizes she spent too much time with Tian Kuo that she has neglected her sister and she decides to break off their relationship.
The original script did not include the kissing scene, and I learned the director purposely waited till the day of filming to tell the actress, because this scene would be the two’s first kiss. This was quite effective because her nervousness matched the storyline requirements perfectly; sweetness but at the same time a bit anxious. Despite Yang Yang’s resistance, the lovelorn Kuo does not give up on their budding romance. While his patience and determination eventually win the girl’s heart, Hear Me’s ending is anything but predictable. Praise aside, there were some moments that dragged. It didn’t really have a climax to me, and it was so hard to concentrate on watching the movie because through most of the movie they communicated in sign language.
I think Hear Me is one of those movies that people will either love or hate. The actresses were so good but the rest of the acting dragged it down to mediocrity. I can appreciate the kind heartedness but the undeveloped themes and below par performance from the leads made me seriously fail to comprehend the reason it becomes such a hit in Taiwan. I didn’t know a romantic comedy about deaf people would have such expressiveness, as they use body language as often as hand signs to convey their thoughts.
Technically, Hear Me does not disappoint. The camerawork is simple but effective and the editing is also convincing. Though many audience members may not be familiar with sign language, Hear Me’s comic relief and genuine emotional resonance quickly render this language barrier unimportant. Hear Me is an unpretentious, sweet little film about two teenagers experiencing the excitement of love, which I liked a lot. Problems aside, as long as a romantic comedy does a good job telling a story, I’ll let a lot of the little flaws go as I never expect these types of films to achieve greatness regardless. As long as you feel warm and fuzzy inside then this is worth watching.