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Fantasia Festival Review: ‘I WeirDo’

August 23, 2020Ben MK

We all have our idiosyncrasies, but what if yours were so extreme that they prevented you from living a normal life? For Chen Po Ching (Austin Lin), who suffers from mysophobia and obsessive compulsive disorder, that's not just a hypothetical question — it's a reality.

On the 15th of each month, rain or shine, Chen Po Ching dons his raincoat, gloves and mask and leaves his apartment to stock up on supplies at his go-to convenience store, see his doctor, and generally do whatever he needs to before returning home to essentially quarantine himself for another 30 days. It's a solitary life and a workable routine that he's gotten used to — that is, until he meets Chen Ching (Nikki Hsieh), a woman with the exact same condition as him. Before long, the pair find themselves romantically involved and living together, an arrangement that proves mutually beneficial due to their shared circumstances. But can their relationship survive the inevitable ups and downs that are to come?

Directed by Liao Ming-Yi, I WeirDo is a surprisingly dramatic examination of the complexities of modern relationships masquerading as a quirky romantic comedy. Nevertheless, its themes prove all too timely in our COVID-19 world, making it all the more compelling.

I WeirDo makes its North American premiere at the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 42 min.

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