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How To Love You

average rating is 3 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Jun 19, 2023

Film Reviews
How To Love You
Directed by:
Bridgette Ong
Written by:
Bridgette Ong
Sherry Tao, Lynn Chia, Yong Jun

The writer-director Bridgette Ong explores an emotional rollercoaster ride between a mother and daughter that is conditioned by the societal pressure beautifully depicted by Mary (Sherry Tao) and Evelynn (Lynn Chia).


The plot of How To Love You revolves around an Asian mother Mary who accidently discovers her daughter’s sexuality and she struggles to accept her for who she is.


The film follows a nonlinear story telling technique as it opens to a long shot of a day-to-day conversation between a mother and daughter duo slowly establishing the journey of the changing dynamics of their bond thus forming the basis of the subject matter the movie deals with. The filmmakers have worked on providing the detailing building the bonds between various characters to develop a sense of involvement and engagement of the audience with the content. The set design, lighting, sound, dialogues, costume, hair, makeup, and props keeps changing to suit the situation and key messages How To Love You wants to deliver to its viewers. The cinematographer Javen Leong along with the director Bridgette Ong smartly incorporate the essence of the significance of Asian culture and the aftermath that follows after the big reveal about something which is hard to accept.


In terms of performance, Sherry Tao plays Mary a strict yet loving mother to Evlynn who cannot accept the sexual orientation of her daughter despite trying very hard to do so. Tao with acting skills beautifully depicts the emotional trauma a mother is going through being abnormally angry on Evlynn’s lover as Mary cannot move forward from what she has been taught over the years by the people living around their place.

Lynn Chia plays Evelynn a teenager who wants to fall in love and is sure of what she wants in her life but is scared to share it with Mary her mother because of the cultural taboos associated with such things especially in Asian countries. The young actress portrays the emotional and bold avatar allowing the audience to enjoy the multi layers of the character arc and learn from the same.


How To Love You talks about the need of a loving bond between a mother and daughter so that both of them can share everything freely without the fear of any societal pressure because any kind of external pressure tends to ruin even the strongest relationship. The short film reiterates the importance of traditional values for any individual but it shouldn’t be overpowering to the extent of being detrimental to the life of the person. The cinematic piece discusses how crucial it is to strike a balance between trying to maintain a cordial rapport with everyone but also staying true to one’s own feeling. The dramatic piece tells us that happiness must be of utmost priority despite the parental expectation because if the child isn’t staying happy and satisfied in every way possible, he/she wouldn’t be able to fulfil any parental expectations and that cannot be the definition of a healthy relationship.


To conclude I would like to appreciate the makers for subtle and sensitive of the topic and also understanding the need to provide a platform to talk about such issues.

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film, LGBTQ+
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