Eve And The Fire Horse

"OK"

Eve And The Fire Horse Review


Eve, the young Chinese protagonist of Eve and the Fire Horse, was born in the Year of the Fire Horse. According to Chinese tradition, children born during the Year of the Fire Horse grow up to be strong-willed and difficult. The film chronicles one challenging year for her and her family.

Growing up in Vancouver, Canada in the late 1960s, nine-year-old Eve Eng (Phoebe Kut) and her older sister Karena Eng (Hollie Lo) find themselves stuck at a spiritual crossroads. While those around them practice more contemporary forms of religion, their family still believes in the old Buddhist traditions of their homeland. Every day their grandmother (Ping Sun Wong) pours three cups of tea for spirits who never drink them. For special family occasions, their aunt cooks pots full of long noodles - meant to promote a long, healthy life. Eve and Karena feel disconnected from this religious symbolism.

In search of their own spiritual identity, the open-minded sisters fall hard for the doctrine of the Bible. Eve and Karena start attending Sunday school, try to convert their friends, and display crosses and Jesus figurines throughout their house - including in their family's Buddhist shrine. Surprisingly, their mother May Lin (Vivian Wu) doesn't have an issue with Eve and Karena's new interest in Catholicism. In fact, May Lin thinks that two Gods living in their house are certainly better than one. Their father Frank (Lester Chan) thinks his family has gone mad.

Eve and the Fire Horse is a very sweet and affecting family drama. Writer/director Julia Kwan gives us a unique glimpse into the spiritual lives of several generations of Chinese-American descendants. The characters are all crafted with the greatest of care; their personalities sparkle with life and energy. It feels like we've known the family for years. The heartwarming relationship between Eve and Karena is a joy as we watch these two impressionable young girls make very grown-up decisions about the direction of their spiritual lives.

Yet for all its sweetness, Eve and the Fire Horse feels relatively empty. We're exposed to a myriad of Eng family celebrations and tragedies throughout the year, but none of them are followed through to a satisfying conclusion. Each event is introduced with just enough detail to reveal a related superstition, only to abandon the plot point later. When a family member needs surgery, Eve and Karena must wait outside the hospital because it would introduce bad karma if they went inside. We never learn what happens after the surgery.

The incomplete storylines really do a disservice to Horse's fascinating characters and to those of us watching who feel like part of the family. Ultimately, it's not the family or even Eve that endures the greatest challenges in the Year of the Fire Horse; instead it is the audience who suffers more.

Fire, water, horse.



Eve And The Fire Horse

Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 1st January 2006

Budget: $1.5M

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Julia Kwan

Producer: Thomas Brown, Julia Kwan, Shan Tam

Starring: as May-Lin Eng, Phoebe Kut as Eve Eng Kut

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.