5 Things to Know BEFORE Seeing ‘Reminiscence’

Not everything is explained in the movie “Reminiscence,” but considering the nature of the film, I’m fine with that. If this was a theatrical stage production, the program notes might provide some insights. Here are mine after one viewing.

Daniel Wu’s gangster speaks a lingo that mixes Chinese with a Southern drawl.

  1. Péngyǒu (朋友) means “friend.”
  2. Wǒ (我) means “I.” 
  3. Gàosù (告訴) means “tell” so Gàosù wǒ (告訴我 or 告诉我) means, “tell me.” 
  4. Wèntí (問題 or 问题) means problem, question, point, topic or trouble.
  5. The name of the drug, baca (馬鹿 or バカ), also means “stupid” in Japanese. 

The woman the male protagonist searches for is named Mae, but Měi ( 美) is a common name for Chinese women in English-language films. Měi means beautiful. 

Bonus: One of the characters will recall the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, a husband and wife, who were tragically separated when the wife dies young. The husband, Orpheus, is a famous musician, he charms the gatekeeper of the Underworld, the three-headed hound Cerberus, and slips past the monster and plays so beautifully he charms Hades and his wife Persephone. Hades agrees to let Eurydice go back to the world of humanity, but Orpheus must not look back until Eurydice has crossed over the threshold from the Underworld into the world above ground. Orpheus looks back too soon and sees the apparition of his wife vanish back into the Underworld. Was Orpheus a coward for not dying to reunite with his wife? Was he courageous to entering the Underworld? Was he faithless for looking back too soon? Or was he the ideal husband, staying faithful to the memory of his late wife? 

 

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