WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
First, the Recap:
Avowal. Admission. Disclosure. Confession. As is yet another of the myriad of complexities found in human nature, finding release from what stews within us when confronting internal and external pressures can take on so many forms. More often, to whom we state these struggles to can mean the difference between liberation or emotional imprisonment. A video camera engages as for one young man (Albert M. Chan), the room he currently inhabits has become his own personal confessional, the contents within which are meant for one person alone–his sister (Mary Niederkorn).
Starting out with the relevant basics like the date and time, the man then moves forward with the understanding his sister is in labor, adding a quick bit of humor to lighten things up. However, from this point onward, the real meaning of the recording is launched into, painting a picture of someone struggling in the many facets of his life, from schooling, to the loss of someone close, to life’s other entanglements, and a sense that no one but his sister might understand his reasoning. But, as he winds down the video with a startling revelation, one pivotal moment changes everything.
Next, my Mind:
There is simply no escaping the profound, heartfelt, keenly understated, emotionally-charged, and sobering realities presented in writer/co-director/co-producer/actor Albert M. Chan’s 7-minute foray illustrating one man’s calm exterior that hides the stormy actualities he’s facing. Taking full advantage of the film’s one-setting, talking to the screen/viewer format, watching this individual pour out his soul to a sister miles away surrounded by a family he seems to be estranged from only makes the weight of his divulgences that much more eerily captivating. It’s a true account of a masked existence, and suffice it to say, the finale is a stroke of creative brilliance and artistry, its potency greatly affecting.
Chan does a fantastic job here at portraying the Man as your average, everyday person caught up in a maelstrom of decisions made and circumstances daunting and unconquerable, who then discovers the particular means of exposing these things to the one individual he feels bonded to most within his family, during a time that becomes more exceedingly felicitous than he could ever have perceived. Chan’s enacting of this as it all unfolds is excellently done, drawing you in with every word, yet doing it in such a “matter-of-fact” way, it very much belies the burden being unloaded and the finale it’s all leading towards. Niederkorn’s Sister “appears” in voice only, but make no mistake, it is a key supporting role she delivers, very much tied to the film’s title and deeper premise.
Overall, “Welcome To The World” displays an intelligent, inventive, and inspired narrative combined with an intentionally downplayed execution that showcases once again the magic of independent artists and character-driven cinema, while also presenting a much needed message as well that this reviewer hopes comes through to everyone who sees the film.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!