Thursday, September 01, 2005
Perth - 65%
Now now .. if Singapore film makers are all still gonna repeat what people like Eric Khoo and the other film makers are doing, then they will be better off not doing anything. Gloom and doom Singaporean movies are in abundance. But are these people in the majority? Nope. This is a movie about a Singaporean Taxi Driver who dreams of going to Perth, but didn't end up anywhere in the end.
What I would like to see, is more movies like "Forever Fever" as opposed to movies that tries too hard to deep and end up being crappy instead. I may be the only critic in Singapore to give this movie a bad review, but as much as I would like to support the Singapore film industry, if this is any indication of what things are to come, I think Singapore's film industry will remain like this for a fair bit longer than they would like it to be. Now I know many people would think me crazy to rate "The Maid" slightly higher than this, but at least "The Maid" was a tad more entertaining in a silly way. This movie is dogged with bad writing from start to the end. Straits Times last weekend devoted an entire page to review this movie and said this is probably the most coherent and authentic Singaporean film to date? The writing was atrocious and it was hardly coherent!
You could tell the writer tried to put in so many "references" and "criticism" of the political (Harry Lee?? We take care of our kind?) and societal (the "angmohs" in Singapore, the "eat kangtang" generation, the scholar officer etc) scenes of Singapore but they all seem to be merely cheap shots within the context of badly written dialogues.
The main character Harry is not credible at all. Here's a guy who speaks only English (obviously Eng-ed), couldn't understand Hokkien (with the exception of vulgarities) and Mandarin, and he prays to Guan gong? I'd believe it more if he doesn't pray to anything or goes to the church instead. There was a scene of him masturbating? Was it even necessary?? And if I am not wrong, it appears he was in pain when masturbating. Or was I just reading his facial expression and his screams in a wrong way? His wife speaks only Hokkien and Mandarin. You see another disconnect here? The overacting in the film could be attributed to Lim Kay Tong's background in theater, or simply, it was hard to see how he could act out those terrible lines that were written.
I was not disturbed by the film's gory bits, I watched tons of horror flicks in the past 20 years that were much gruesome that those in this film. And really it wasn't as bad as what people had warned me about. I really was looking forward to this film, but it is just another act of rebel without a cause - and in this age of reason, we really shouldn't put up with that.
And at the end of the show, I felt, the best element of the show, was the Cambodian Girl Mai, which isn't saying much really. She said "I don't know why Harry came to rescue me ... but now I am free". Similarly, I don't understand why the film is made, and what message is it trying to say, but at least it has ended.