(Spoiler alert: Big Blue Lake – as a lake – does not exist, not in the story nor in Sai Kung’s Ho Chung, the setting of the film and Tsang’s home village, although an area named Tai Lam Wu is there.)
Thirty-something Lai-yee returns to Ho Chung after a failed acting stint in Beijing. She finds it totally changed and feels eerily dislocated from her birthplace.
But a certain appeal in the mundane rural life she once left behind soon becomes apparent. It triggers a sense of rediscovering the lost years with her mother (Amy Chum), who is showing signs of dementia.
Lai-yee crosses paths with former classmate Lin (Lawrence Chou Chun-wai). The pair bond in their memories and their quest to find the Big Blue Lake.
There’s a wonderful indie feel to the film. There are no big stars, car chases or explosions. The work is highly lyrical – emotion is conveyed through camera work. The lingering shots work well with the subject of rural life.
Big Blue Lake harks back to a cinema of emotions. Tsang’s exploration into the fallibility of memory and dedication to her home village are admirable.
Big Blue Lake opens Thursday