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Perth (2004) More at IMDbPro »

Perth -- Open-ended Trailer from Tartan Films


User Rating:
5.5/10   236 votes »
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Release Date:
18 August 2005 (Singapore) See more »
the dream of a simple man
Perth is the journey into the heart of Harry Lee, a 51-year-old part-time security guard and taxi driver... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Slightly Flawed Masterpiece. See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order)

Kay Tong Lim ... Harry Lee
Qiu Lian Liu ... Wife
A. Panneeirchelvam ... Selvam
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jason Aspes ... Road rage Victim
Boeing ... Faithful
Boy ... MC jufti Security Guard

Stefanie Budiman ... Neighbor's Maid (as Stephanie Budiman)
Ivy Cheng ... Mai
Charmaine Chua ... Cheap Slut
Stepharn Girodot ... Charles the Curious Frenchman
Justin Guariglia ... Dog owner
Gene Ho ... Nerdy Soldier on bus
Zahir Hussein ... Smug Bouncer
Steven Lee ... Khmer Rouge Officer
Colin Loh ... Bus Driver
Valtino Philenon Manen ... Football kid
Valvick Philenon Manen ... Football kid
Kevin Murphy ... Darius Lee
Jeye Neo ... Romeo Lee ssecurity guard
Wilson Ng ... Hotel Security
Timothy Nga ... Rich Young Wanker (as Timothy Ngah)
Emilie Oehlers ... Raneesha the Socialite
Apache Ong ... Poet
Chuen Boone Ong ... Big Boss (as 'Monster Man' Ong Chuen Boon)

Sunny Pang ... Angry Boy Lee
Benjamin Peters ... Vomiting boy
Victory Selvam
Catherine Tan ... Chlamydia Lee, bar Hostess
Kwang Pye Thein ... Khmer Rouger
Jonathan Whittle-Utter ... Road rage Victim

Directed by
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Djinn  (as Ong Lay Jinn)

Produced by
Wai-Kin Chan .... executive producer
Damon Chua .... producer
Richard Eu .... executive producer
Juan Foo .... producer
Duncan Jepson .... producer
Keith Jepson .... executive producer
Ilyas Khan .... executive producer
Charmaine Li .... executive producer
Nissim Tse .... executive producer
Original Music by
Marcello De Francisci 
Cinematography by
Meng Hing Goh 
Film Editing by
Bin Li 
Production Design by
Andy Heng 
Makeup Department
Red Ngoh .... hair stylist
Red Ngoh .... key makeup artist
Sound Department
Kazz .... sound
Kazuo Sato .... sound
Boom Suvagondha .... assistant mix engineer
Camera and Electrical Department
King Li .... clapper loader
Editorial Department
Christine Cheung .... assistant editor
Location Management
Julia Ng .... location manager
Music Department
Marcello De Francisci .... music scoring mixer

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Singapore:106 min | Singapore:107 min
Singapore:M18 | Singapore:R(A) (original rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Lim Kay tong's character Harry Lee is named after Singapore's founding Prime minister Lee Kuan Yew who was born Harry Lee Kuan Yew.See more »


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
A Slightly Flawed Masterpiece., 3 January 2007
Author: massaster760 from United States

Perth is the dream of a simple man, named Harry Lee (played by actor Lim Kay Tong), a fifty-one year old security guard and Taxi Driver. Harry's only dream is to leave Singapore and immigrate to Perth, where he plans on living the simple life. According to Harry, everything is cheaper in Perth, which is why he works two jobs, in order to save up for his retirement plan.

The company where Harry works security is run by a local gangster nicknamed "Angry Boy Lee" (played expertly by actor Sunny Pang.) Harry also has an estranged wife and son, as well as a best friend named Selva, played by actor Victory Selvam. After a few scenes depicting Harry's everyday life, we learn that the company he works security is down-sizing, thus Harry is out of the job.

In order to stay to stay on schedule for his trip to Perth, Harry and his best friend Selva take jobs escorting prostitutes for Angry Boy Lee's Boss. Once on the job, Harry becomes infatuated with a young prostitute named Mai, played by Ivy Cheng.

If the plot sounds reminiscent of Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver, it's because it is. Thematically, the film also explores the same feelings of rage, loneliness, and isolation, that Taxi Driver does. Although, the motivations behind Harry and Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle are hardly the same. But largely, both films are gritty character studies, which degenerate into extremely violent and disturbing climaxes. While Taxi Driver is certainly the better film, Perth is much more violent and just as memorable.

Just like Taxi Driver, Perth is paced slowly, but never becomes boring. Much of the film involves detailed character development of Harry and Salva. Most of the conversations, in the film involve the need to "live the simple life", thoughts on faithfulness (mostly inspired by Harry's Ex-Wife), and of course, Perth.

One of the things that surprised me most about Perth, was that the majority of dialog in the film was in English. That, or a medley of English an several other dialects, such as Mandarin and Vietnamese. If you ever want to learn swear words in multiple languages, Perth is definitely your movie. Indeed this film features so much cursing that at times it seems a bit overdone, but it also adds to the underlying dark humor in Perth (Even as dark and menacing as Perth is, it still manages to make you laugh now and then).

The performances themselves are quite good, but sometimes become a little too melodramatic (Specifically, the scene during Harry's son's wedding). But on the whole, Lim Kay Tong is heart wrenching as the abusive, alcoholic, wife beating Harry Lee. The other performances are all above par, especially Sunny Pang's Angry Boy Lee. The prostitute Harry falls for (Ivy Cheng) is beautiful, but her character is sadly underdeveloped. Also, the dialog being in English, (although most of the characters speak English quite well) sometimes it takes away from the acting. Don't get me wrong, the dialog is easily understandable, it's just that it doesn't always flow as smoothly as it does in the native language.

The direction in the film is especially well done, and Perth features some of the best cinematography I've seen in awhile. Coming from the director of the horrible Return to Pontianak, Director Djinn proves he has talent and then some. Perth is shot in such a way, that the film has a very grainy, very raw feel to it. Perth features many beautiful shots of cityscapes in Singapore. The film also features many abstract shots, including a recurring ticking clock, which might create the impression that time may be running out for our characters.

All in all, Perth is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. While it might be a retread of territory staked out by Martin Scorcese, it is still an exceptionally well done film. The performances are good, the dialog is good, the direction and cinematography are great, and the ending is amongst the most memorable endings I've ever seen! My Rating (9.5 out of 10) Perth is a slightly flawed masterpiece.

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