days review

Misery may love company, but loneliness craves it. Yearns for it. Counts down the minutes waiting for company to arrive until life is but a hollow shell, an endless repetition of mindless tasks, wasting away waiting for something that may never come. And then when that company is finally there, doesn’t know what to do it with it but shyly dance around it.

Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-liang has long delved into the feeling of alienation, isolation, and the miracles of human connection with his films, and Days is no exception. A mesmerizing exercise in the mundane, Days is almost completely free of dialogue — and intentionally unsubtitled for this reason — inducing a kind of calm hypnotic state that makes the viewer even more aware of the sharp stabs of loneliness felt by his longtime muse Lee Kang-sheng. Lee stars as Kang, a middle-class man wandering through the lonely urban landscape of Hong Kong, biding his time until he meets Non, a young Laotian immigrant working as a masseuse in Bangkok (Anong Houngheuangsy).

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