THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. WE STRONGLY ADVISE THAT YOU WATCH THE FILM FIRST.
‘The Dancing Prawns‘ is a short story about a young Asian daughter returning home to assist her mother’s wedding, but she assist her funeral instead.
Director Lim Yew Yee interlaces present with past to tell the story of the mourning family, a thing he does quite well using few shots to express the most important moments in the family’s history. He so uses the past to show the strong connection between the mother and her daughters. But there is also another layer of the story that the director uses for different purposes: that of the mother’s husband to become, who deals with the loss a little differently than the two daughters.
While the daughters are obviously sad and weeping, the fiancé seems to have suffered an emotional breakdown acting like he is still to get married soon and refusing to understand that ‘ma’ is dead.
The returned young daughter would like to make him face the truth but she can’t find the right words nor does she seem able to find the inner strength to do it, acting around ‘uncle’ like mother would still be alive and the wedding soon to happen.
While events unfold, young daughter and ‘uncle’ cook prawns – a recipe that seems to have been inherited from the deceased. The film is nicely made and makes one think about what we inherit from our predecessors. It is often not gold but their dear memory and the loving.