Breaking Down the Symbols in Echoes of the Rainbow

The Items Big Ear (羅進二; 大兒牛) Stole

Breaking Down the Chinese Film Title — 歲月神偷

[The Chinese name of the film is 歲月神偷 (Direct translation = Years (歲月)/God (神)/Steal (偷); Title translation = Time, the Thief). The title commensurates with not only the early death of Desmond, but also how time is able to rob everything away effortlessly.]

Home of the Laws — Law Kee Shoes 羅記皮鞋

1. Roof, Weather, and Rainbow
Big Ear’s father repeatedly states, “做人乜都假, 最緊要保住個頂, 唔駛好天曬, 落雨淋” (Translation: The most important part of life is maintaining the roof’s good condition, so that we don’t need to withstand the heat and rain during bad weather). He also plants a tree next to Desmond’s grave as he says this. Readers, what do you think the house symbolises? Family? Hong Kong? If so, what do the various weather symbolise/foreshadow (during the typhoon, Desmond collapse shortly after the roof is about to be blown away, see below)? What’s the difference between sunny and rainy weather? How is (double) RAINBOW (which is extremely rare, according to Desmond) related to this matter (English film title!)?

Other Symbols and Discussion

Shoes and Clothing

Shoes play a huge role in terms of symbolism in the film.
Wealth Gap — while everyone else is wearing spikes, Desmond wears white sneakers during his competitions. Did you notice other clothing characteristics that can represent the growing wealth gap of HK?
Theme — Everyone knows Big Ear’s mother’s famous quote, “一步難, 一步佳; 難又一步, 佳又一步……” ((take one step and you face challenge, take another something good happens). Why is this message carried out? How does her shoes at that moment in particular differ from the other shoes and moments when this quote is mentioned?
Different Generations — What is the difference between the clothing and hairstyle of the grown up Big Ear and Desmond? How does the Western influence HK fashion?

Fishes

Do different types of fishes have different representations? What do they represent?

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