Your Name Engraved Herein- MOVIE REVIEW

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No other LGBTQ film has grossed as high as Your Name Engraved Herein in Taiwan. Before we get into the gist of the movie, here’s a little background of its premise. 1987 marked the end of Taiwan’s martial law. However, while that changed, people’s minds and hearts didn’t. It took 40 long years for the country to move past political oppression and finally, it was time for Taiwanese values and culture to shine past influence by the Chinese.
In 2019, Taiwan held its first legal homosexual marriage and homosexuality was legalized. However, this doesn’t mean that the society began treating everyone with the fundamental rights they deserve. Kuang-Hui Liu’s film, Your Name Engraved Herein, is therefore, a coming of age film about that time.
It is about a country that was moving from being politically oppressed for a period of 40years, to one that was doing the same thing to their most at-risk youth. The film is a coming of age story that sheds some light on gay rights at a period of political unrest.
In the film, two classmates in a boarding school form an attraction to each other. A-Han is the classic popular student who has poor grades even though there’s nothing (read girls) to distract him in school. However, it is quite clear that his interests are not in girls at all. Birdy, A-Han’s new classmate, is the typical badass student who defies authority openly and he knows he’s got his rights to defend him.
Most of Birdy’s classmates know that he’s gay, and so do most of his teachers. However, he still has to endure bullying most of the time. The unique thing about Birdy is that he is always ready to defend those who are like him. He stands up to defend one of his gay classmates who endures getting a lighter set ablaze on his genitals.
A lot of Tawain’s films incorporate global issues, modern entertainment, and national pride. Due to its well-detailed scenes, it is a visual feast that any viewer would enjoy. While there are scenes where despair is predominant, there are those that are visually evocative and luminous such as when both A-Han and Birdy are lying naked on the beach with the sand stuck to their bodies.
This is one of the film’s best scenes. Birdy also gives an outstanding performance when he stands on the ledge on the second floor as he tries to get rid of his bullies and attempts to run away. The film has its good times, and its faults as well. But, there are some scenes that could have been cut out. But, this isn’t the only fault with it. There are plenty of heavy handed scenes in it too.
A lot of the scenes are made too similar with the same emotions and they end up feeling too similar. While a little more effort could have been put to give these scenes the emotional payoff they deserved, they end up drowning out each other.

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