Fanart / “The Farewell” (2019) portraits and reflective Spoiler ramble

In this little post:

  • The Farewell (2019) portraits
  • Spoiler thoughts on the movie

Portrait of Billi Wang (Awkwafina)

Hello! My name is Leonie. And I finally managed to watch this movie! Was avoiding it because of the subject matter :’)

More character portrait studies/sketches!

Playing with ClipStudioPaint further! Enjoyed being more rough with my lines :0


Leonie’s The Farewell spoiler rambles!

  • oof this movie. Related to this on many levels as someone who’s born and raised in Australia, has chinese heritage two generations ago and lost her mother to cancer.
  • it’s not as sad and heart wrenching as I thought it would be. I was more emotional with Onward haha! It’s definitely serious subject matter but it’s also heartfelt, bittersweet and amusing in a relatable way
  • related so much to Billi’s mother/Lu Jian’s opinion on family events and funerals – how we’re expected to put on a show, express and perform “sadness” to save face and the reputation of others :/
    • especially when I have autism – I don’t care for, don’t have the capacity to deal with nor behave socially acceptable already :’) I get shamed for how I naturally behave (quiet and taking things in) and get called rude, selfish and “shy”
    • I am mindful, solemn and respectful with funerals in general but I cannot cry or outwardly emote in front of others, let alone to display and perform “how much I care” when people are socially expected to.
  • when Billi’s uncle kept repeating the same things on and on and on and on – I’ve been experiencing that pressure, one way broken record nagging and attempts to emotionally guilt and control – all my life!! My patience definitely fluctuates :’)
  • how people and parents just won’t stop smoking and/or drinking to cope with things 🙁
  • mother and/or father taking favourites with their own sons over daughters; yep
  • when Billi’s uncle bought “expensive Japanese medicine” online for Nai Nai
    • bad, irritable memories came back – my own mother had the same kind of (placebo? mushroom?) Japanese medicine that were red tablets too. Out of desperation they believed it helps with health and cancer :/
    • now I don’t know if this is a scam or not but it was also super expensive and its apparent health benefits were heavily advertised. I’m a little angry, thinking back 🙁
  • how traditional weddings are represented here so well – long, boring, awkward, with speeches, karaoke, showy, people who dance on their own, drinking, people being forced to be friendly, give face and polite with everyone there
    • I never want to attend those willingly again ;P
    • people who are not of the culture felt the movie was draggy here – but that’s how family events like weddings worked and felt like! It represents the feeling and mood of those events super well.
  • as much as I’m very much westernised/individualistic, I definitely do feel the internal conflict between cultures and values.
    • when you have immigrant parents, you’re conditioned since young to be grateful and to always get their approval and live the “best life” they will never have – due to their sacrifices, long working hours, cultural disconnect, language barriers, terrible experiences from war, poverty and struggles. So Billi and her mother’s conversation about their hardships with getting by since they moved to America was relatable.
    • I do get torn between family versus my own values. Consequently I end up somewhere in the middle
  • how lying to Nai Nai about her terminal condition was culturally normal. This is a new thing to me!
  • the end revealed the director/writer’s (Lulu Wang) real life grandma is still alive after 6 years her diagnosis and that she only found out about her condition due to them filming this movie.
    • I don’t know how to feel about this. Is the lying justified then? Was there a point to lying? Is she able to do the things she wants to do, now that she does know?
    • I don’t know the answers and it’s not my personal business. Overall it’s all grey and messy :<
  • what happened to Hao Hao and Aiko? Was it a real, lasting marriage? Are they okay? Does Aiko know what’s fully going on? Does it matter?
  • the fact that Little Nai Nai is the real person herself is impressive!
  • I don’t know how they were able to eat those huge crabs. Ouch! D:
  • I did get teary during the first act and when Nai Nai waved goodbye while they were leaving back for America :’)
  • all the characters felt 3D dimensional with their own internal conflicts and inner worlds
  • Nai Nai’s advice and message about focusing on *how* you’re doing things and not what you’re doing did touch me :’)

The movie did bring into question whether the lie is “right” or not. I can understand both sides and values of the situation. I have conflicting feelings about it all since it’s really up to the person and their family values.

Personally if I was in the same situation, I would not participate in the lie and give the loved one the truth, choice, independence and agency to do things *they* want to do while they’re still making the most of their energy, time and life. Sure ignorance and fighting through the mysterious, concerning symptoms is bliss for a while but it’s inevitable that they’d find out anyway. I feel it creates unnecessary pain, suffering and stress for all those involved in the lie :<

But what do I know? :’) There’s no such thing as the “right” answer for personal and emotional matters.

Anyhoo thank you for reading and please take care of yourself and loved ones <3


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