Haonan Wang’s Bubble is a new species of culinary horror, mixing love and sacrifice into the recipe. With its strong editing style, the film unfolds its story almost without dialogues, and the relentlessly escalating narrative threatens to take the wind out of you.
It is remarkable how much Haonan Wang conveys through visuals without dialogues. And yet, the film resists easy explanation. You may come away from it feeling shaken, but still find it difficult to explain what really happened. Jing Jin plays an unnamed woman and Naughty Xiao plays her partner. Their relationship is already steady when the film opens, expressed in the easy familiarity with which they co-exist in the same space, besides which they share a strong emotional bond. Here, the lack of dialogues comes into play. The two communicate without words, and when words are used, they take on particular emphasis.
After a flashback of their life together and fragmented glimpses of what happened, the film returns to the present. Its climax begins its final buildup and descent, made of equal parts fear, horror and a strange feeling of loss.
At a small restaurant, the man is eating. Plate after plate of leafy vegetables are brought for him, as he continues to eat, increasingly wildly. Opposite him, the woman — Jing Jin is frighteningly heartbreaking — as though witnessing a death she cannot stop, watches on, looking tortured, sometimes extending a glass of water, sometimes wiping his mouth. Like his co-actor, Xiao’s performance is nuanced and speaks volumes without requiring words. This is what the story has been building up to, as we watch him painfully transform into a mass of leaves and flowers himself. What happens next is not nearly as torturous as this.
As we watch the woman walk away, becoming smaller with each click of her heels, the remains of her life so far lay scattered on the ground. One is left to accept, without knowing why, that this is what they both wanted. The final punch of the film is the answers it refused to give and the attention it commands regardless.#ShortFilmReview: Bubble: All for love. Click To Tweet
Bubble: Gorgeous, Horrifying Story Of Love