Albert M. Chan, Mary Niederkorn
Albert M. Chan, Anthony Grasso
Albert M. Chan
Writer/co-director Albert M. Chan's latest film Welcome to the World is a quiet yet riveting piece of human drama starring Chan as a man whose demeanor seems placid yet whose actions reveal a storm brewing inside.
Sitting in a room, presumably a bedroom, the man is recording a video for his pregnant sister who is, by all accounts, already in labor. It doesn't take long for the man's true motivations to be revealed. Welcome to the World is, for the most part, a confessional piece of cinema, an approach that many find indulgent at the least.
I promise. Stay with it. it's worth it.
The story, which only takes seven minutes to unfold, travels quite the journey in those seven minutes as Chan's unnamed man goes from levity to humor to vulnerability to despair through to several other emotions until the film winds down. While that seems like a lot of ground to travel, it's done so with such precision of dialogue and action that it all seems to unfold naturally and with tremendous authenticity.
As the sister, Mary Niederkorn really only "appears" in one scene and that involves only her vocal work. Yet, her appearance here is tremendously moving and reveals much about why her brother believes that she'd be the only one to understand his emotional and physical space.
Welcome to the World is a better film precisely because it's not an emotional tour-de-force. In fact, it's a rather low-key, matter-of-fact film with quietly expressed emotions and soul aching resignation. Chan's performance is deeply moving without ever seeming to stretch for those deep emotions. Chan's performance is one of intelligence and insight, an indicator that he's in touch with his character and demands dignity for every step of his journey.
Welcome to the World is the kind of find that lingers in your brain long after the closing credits have rolled by, from the illuminating final sequences to the revelation of new life to the honest, heartfelt journey of one young man in a world where he is seemingly surrounded yet feels so incredibly alone.
If you get a chance, you'll definitely want to check out Welcome to the World.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic