Film review: Exit (7 out of 10)

Shiang Chyi Chen in Exit
Shiang Chyi Chen in Exit

On occasions, watching movies from the far reaches of the world can be tough - lifestyles can vary so enormously that the temptation is to judge a film with Western eyes.

However, Exit incorporates some worldwide 21st Century concepts that many of us can sympathise with.

Director Hsiang Chienn is an exciting prospect, not afraid to experiment and look for new ways of creating a simple scene.

Exit stars the remarkable Chen Shiang-Chyi as a 45-yea-old seamstress in Taiwan, called Ling.

Her husband has gone to work in China and refuses to answer her phone calls, her daughter can barely raise any interest to converse when she’s around and the mother-in-law is in hospital.

Add to all this, she loses her job and is diagnosed with early onset menopause.

While she is visiting mum-in-law in hospital she sees a male patient across the room with bandaged eyes, obviously in distress.

At first she treats him out of compassion but her care in time borders on obsession, looking after a man who can’t see her and judge her.

An ideal relationship for a woman trapped between generations and feeling unable to express her emotions.

Hsiang Chienn follows Ling with hand-held and fixed cameras and provides a movie that concentrates on the available senses more than in usual films.

Colour is used creatively and sound is particularly important, with traffic noises and street scenes adding to a feeling that life is going on while Ling remains apart from it.

This isn’t a happy ever after film, although there are some moments of dark humour.

While the final scene is perhaps not a very subtle analogy there is much to admire from director and star.

Exit is to be released in UK cinemas on April 24 after being screened at the Glasgow Film Festival this week.