Fantasia Festival Review: I WeirDo

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition which compels the sufferer to have recurring thoughts and perform repetitive behaviours which they cannot control. In its mildest form, it can be no more than an annoyance or irritation. At the more extreme end, it can basically take over your life. The condition can be treated through therapy and be medicated against, but there is no cure. In Ming-Yi Liao feature debut, I WeirDo, two fellow ‘travellers’ meet and fall in love.

Chen Po-ching (Austin Lin) has OCD. It’s so bad that he is almost housebound, spending his days intensively cleaning his apartment and obsessively hand-washing. He manages to earn a living from home as a translator but once a month, clad in mask, gloves and raincoat, he ventures outside to do shopping and pay his bills. On one trip he spies Chen Ching (Nikki Hsieh), similarly attired, on the subway and decides to break his routine and follow her. The pair soon form a bond.

At its heart, I WeirDo is a charming and sweet love story. These two outsiders, who had assumed that a relationship was beyond them, soon become soulmates. Spending every hour of the day together. However, life is not quite that simple and Liao spins this on its head to add another layer to the plot. Filmed on an iPhone, the format helps to heighten the feeling of captivity; both within their physical and mental constraints. I WeirDo is a captivating underdog tale.

I WeirDo screened at Fantasia Festival.

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