“Time Still Turns The Pages” will make you cry for slightly unexpected reasons and delivers perhaps one of the best juvenile performances.
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Mr. Cheng, upon it being presented that a student in his class has written a suicide note, finds himself reminded of repressed memories of his childhood. It’s all there in a notebook he keeps, which pushes the idea he was once suicidal, and from what it appears, rather than stay quiet as he did as a child, he wants to open up to whatever student may need someone to make their existence and feelings be valid.
But, as he investigates which student might be in danger, he is dealing with his abusive father on his deathbed and the love of his life, Sherry, ending their marriage. All of this makes this student wanting to hurt themselves all the more heavy for Mr. Cheng.,
- Dialog: Cursing
- Violence: Family Abuse, Blood, Self-Harm
- Sexual Content: Sexual Situations (Implied)
- Miscellaneous: Drinking, Smoking, Vomiting
Based On Work By
January 19, 2024
How To Watch
1 Hour 35 Minutes
Noted Characters and Cast
Chun Yip Lo
Pak-Lim Curtis Ho
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
Mr. Cheung (Chun Yip Lo)
Mr. Cheung is a teacher who knows all too well about negative and even self-harming thoughts due to a childhood filled with physical abuse and emotional abuse.
Eli (Sean Wong)
Eli is Alan’s older brother, who doesn’t have the notable talents of his sibling. He can’t play the piano well and isn’t a top student, and because of this, he struggles under the weight of his family’s expectations. All of whom treat him like a burden than someone who is genuinely trying their best.
Alan (Pak-Lim Curtis Ho)
A pianist, one of the top students in his class, and the golden child of his family, Alan is living the life. Mind you, he is a bit on auto-pilot, so his accomplishments are mostly due to things coming easy at his young age, but with so much praise from adults, he is happy. Hence, this is why he mostly ignores Eli or doesn’t closely associate himself with him.
Sherry (Hanna Chan)
Sherry is a voice actress to whom Mr. Cheung is/was married to. However, because of his secrets or shame, there was a breakdown in their relationship that she couldn’t tolerate, thus leading to her filing for divorce.
Notable Performances or Moments
While you may have expected Mr. Cheung and his relationship with his student to get you in your feelings, Eli’s storyline will make you ugly cry. As you watch him exist in the shadow of his brother Alan, get bullied at school by peers and teachers, and the abuse dished out to him by his father and mother? It wears you down.
What especially helps is that Eli is the type who may cry and call out for people, but you can see if he can find someone who could or would give comfort, he’d make them his reason for living. Heck, he even took his father’s abuse as a sign that maybe he did care for him to the point that when his father committed to no longer doing so, it was taken as a sign his dad truly gave up on him.
Watching that and then learning how that relates to what Mr. Cheung is going through is going to make you ugly cry, and it will test whether you’ve been drinking enough water.
All Going On With Mr. Cheung In Modern Times
Beyond what happened with Eli during the age of the original Gameboy, there is what Mr. Cheung is going through, and while what happened to Eli does affect him, I wouldn’t say Eli utterly eclipses his story. Whether we’re walking through the rise and fall of his marriage, him bonding with one student who previously was hurting themselves, or him struggling to reconcile with his dying father, Mr. Cheung can also push you to the point of tears.
Plus, because he seems to be the main adult unwilling to write off students or kids as sensitive and push the idea that they are selfish for having inconvenient feelings, he wins you over quickly.
On The Fence
The Twist May Require Some Recalibrating
To fully understand Mr. Cheung’s story and the impact of Eli, it is necessary to adjust to the twist in the movie. We’re not going to go into details, but because of what you assume leading up to the twist, after the twist, you have to re-piece your understanding of who Mr. Cheung is and everything that led up to the twist and as you recalibrate, you may lose the film just a little bit.
Good If You Like
- Strong performances from child actors (under 18)
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Time Still Turns The Pages (2024) – Movie Review
Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)
“Time Still Turns The Pages” should be a go-to for anyone who hasn’t cried in a while and wants to make sure the cold temperatures haven’t iced their feelings.
Eli - 89%
All Going On With Mr. Cheung In Modern Times - 84%
The Twist May Require Some Recalibrating - 78%
- All Going On With Mr. Cheung In Modern Times
- The Twist May Require Some Recalibrating