Little Big Women is a Taiwanese movie directed by Joseph Chen-Chieh Hsu and starring Shu-Fang Chen, Ying-Hsuan Hsieh, Vivian Hsu and Ke-Fang Sun, alongside other cast members.
You know those movies that are super intense and make you feel like there’s no winning in any way? Movies where everyone seems to be given the end of the stick all the time and just getting whipped with the stick. That’s what Little Big Women feels like. The movie isn’t horrible in any way, it’s quite endearing sometimes, but it grapples with some heavy and saddening themes that can really get under your skin.
Grappling with the grief of the death of their absentee father, a family must come to terms with the secrets that spill out and learn to let go of their past and come to terms with it.
The family consists of three daughters – Ching, Jiajia and Yu and their mother, Lin Shoying. Shoying has a successful restaurant business and on her birthday the family receives the news that their father is no more. He was gone for 20 years but the sadness still pierces their hearts. However, all four of these women have their own ways of dealing with it and this causes them to clash over and over again.
On top of the death, the four women have their own personal problems to deal with. These problems and grief all come crashing down and merging into one other has the days progress. How will the four handle these problems? Will they come out victorious or fall prey to them?
The 2-hour-long Little Big Women deals with different kinds of grief and secrets – all these women have a different way of coming to terms with their problems, shared or otherwise. There’s Lin Shoying, who deals with the grief of losing a husband who was never there and harbouring a terrible family secret, the three girls with their myriad of problems on top of losing their absentee father and lastly there’s his partner of over a decade. All of these women must come to terms with the secrets that they harbour and the grief that they have in their hearts to find peace.
Little Big Women is a 2-hour movie whose pacing is extremely slow. If you’re expecting a melodrama where people throw fits and there’s a battle between the wife and mistress, then you’re in for a disappointment. Although there is sort of a battle, it’s more nuanced and understated. Every problem that the women face is brought to the forefront and given ample time to shine through. All of the daughters’ problems, too, get ample time to come through so that we can actually care about them.
I enjoyed the character build-ups and how the problems were solved in Little Big Women. There’s no big victorious march or a big announcement. But the end result is as satisfying and wholesome. However, all said and done, the movie is only and only about grief. For people who want flavour in their dramas, there wouldn’t be much to enjoy. If anything, it does get a little dragged after an hour or so. The movie is peppered with humour here and there, but it’s few and far between and doesn’t last long enough to make an impression or lighten the mood.
The performances are great. Principle cast including Shu-Fang Chen, Ying-Hsuan Hsieh, Vivian Hsu and Ke-Fang Sun is great as a grieving family. They add depth and emotion to their characters and that’s extremely important for movies such as these. Little Big Women looks beautiful as well and is mostly extremely peaceful, albeit tad bit depressing sometimes.
Summing up: Little Big Women
If you’re someone who likes slow-paced movies, then Little Big Women is a good bet. It’s acted well and has a lovely and endearing story that is mostly sad. However, it might get too slow-paced for those of you who want a little action.
Little Big Women is streaming on Netflix.
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