Fast, frenetic, and furious, 15 is the story of five Singaporian teenagers who, abandoned by the system and estranged from their parents and life in general, build their own world in which ... See full summary »
Fast, frenetic, and furious, 15 is the story of five Singaporian teenagers who, abandoned by the system and estranged from their parents and life in general, build their own world in which gangs, drugs, fighting, piercing, self-harm and suicide are common and brotherhood is important above all else. Presents the chaotic lives of these boys, living in the shadows of a sprawling metropolis and with only each other to rely on. Written by
Depending on who you are and how you like your movies, your reaction to Royston Tan's "15" will differ drastically. An expansion on an earlier short, this movie has no plot, is rather a series of desultory vignettes played around a group of 15-year-old "Ah Beng" hooligans who appear to have real difficulty integrating into mainstream Singapore society. The movie is very difficult to watch, as Royston Tan appears to ask the boys to be on their worse behaviour, as in beating up an old woman in a lift for staring at them (enacted of course). Not to mention scenes of drug doping (a boy swallows a condom full of pills), real wrist slashing (real, as in the boy is *really* slashing his wrist - Royston has a doctor on standby in case it becomes life-threatening) and a close-up of an erect penis.
One question I keep asking myself is, will "15: The Movie" be a better movie if it's shot as a documentary? The film appears to throw up lots of questions that keep buzzing around like unswatted flies, and which the film refuses to answer. Why are the boys acting as they do? Do they enjoy doing it, all these anti-social behaviour? What are they rebelling against? What kind of family did they grow up in? Will they let society help them? Or are they rebels without a cause?
At the end of the movie I was just a little stunned when Royston gave us some "real life" information on these boys. One of them apparently has been arrested by the police after the film was made. Wait - wasn't "15 - the movie" shot as a narrative film? So why are all these happening? Is anyone even giving a hoot about these real-life "Ah Bengs"?
The socialist side of me gave this film a 5. I wanted some answers, but the film just keeps jabbing questions at me.
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