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Singapore Dreaming (2006)
"Mei man ren sheng" (original title)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 251 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 6 critic

When Loh wins the lottery, his family believes the money will deliver them from their struggles. However, he dies abruptly, pitching the family into a battle where the stakes are the very meaning of life itself.

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Title: Singapore Dreaming (2006)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Low ...
Pa
Alice Lim ...
Ma
Dick Su ...
Seng
Yann Yann Yeo ...
Mei
...
C.K.
Serene Chen ...
Irene
Mariel Reyes ...
Pinky
Jacqueline Chow ...
Michelle Tang
Kai Boo Lee ...
Simon Koh
Serena Sim ...
Mrs. Koh
Vincent Tee ...
Uncle Peng
Jiali Xu ...
The China Girl
Jing Jing Ng ...
The Old Lady
Sylvanus Lim ...
Delivery Man
Angeline Lee ...
The Mistress
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Storyline

When Loh wins the lottery, his family believes the money will deliver them from their struggles. However, he dies abruptly, pitching the family into a battle where the stakes are the very meaning of life itself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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What are You Dreaming of? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

7 September 2006 (Singapore)  »

Also Known As:

Singapore Dreaming  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

SGD 800,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Trivia

To distract curious onlookers when shooting on in the city, director/producer Colin Goh and 1st assistant director Stephen Chin staged a mock fight. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The 5Cs - Cogent, Cognizant film with Class and done in Chastening Cerise
18 April 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Singapore Dreaming has all the 5Cs (its original title), and more. The 5Cs, in no particular order, that emanate from this gem of a social commentary on the island state and its average family in its heartland (the electorate majority in the concrete jungle), are that it is cogent, cognizant of all it portrays- even though it boasted of a foreign film crew from New York, and is both classy in its cynical presentation of the palpable realities of its characters, as well as ostensibly complete in fulfilling this very portrayal. However, more than anything, the film is destined if not designed, to chasten the audiences in an intensely cerise and garish rendition of the challenges and harsh realities of life in the island nation.

That's 5 stars of approval for a film about the land of the 5 stars and crescent moon and its cultural obsession with materialism, albeit tragically so, and these very 5Cs. For those outside of Singapore, the 5Cs pertain to possessions labelled 'Cash, Credit Cards, Condominiums, Cars, etc', all litmus tests of status and wealth that are tremendously valued in the nation. It is apt that some in the nation mention a sixth C, vis a vis its new found quest for vanity in the 2000s, 'Cosmetic Surgery', and hence it is ironic that the film is financed and produced by arguably Singapore's finest cosmetic surgeon, Dr Woffles Wu. In fact, if one were to take an honest retrospect, when Singaporean web author (TalkingCock.com) and former lawyer turned film maker Colin Goh and wife Yen Yen took on this project with a mind towards putting forth a genuine social commentary, few would have taken the cadre of the pair and their team seriously given the latter's last film outing was tacitly Singapore's worst film export in its short film history, the awry aberration, "Talking Cock the movie".

But, Singapore Dreaming, lock stock and barrel, is an amazing breakaway from the banality of Goh's previous film. In fact, he may well and truly be finally able to shed the fiasco of that piece of work now that this film has emerged, and since this work will most certainly etch itself into Singapore's mainstay as a classic in the months and years ahead. A tale about an average family dealing with the mores of their cultural identities, as well as their racial (and hence religious) allegiances, amid the cutthroat world of Singapore's rat race, the film has presumably every Singaporean stereotype, even if it does focus on the lives of the majority race, the Chinese Singaporeans. The elderly 'Ah Beng' (larrikin to us Aussies) is a central character played by Richard Low, a cynic who is a recipient of the disparate wealth status divide in the nation, where his disappointments from failed ambition send him into depression and envy. It takes a local to understand the humour in the film, but essentially its when themes arise of Low's character's interaction as he wins the lottery, and goes about a new life that add a tinge of black humour to proceedings. Goh takes the chance to toss in inside jokes about language barriers even amongst the local Chinese and their more western compatriots, and discusses what seems to be many Singaporean nuances and idiosyncrasies. Yet, you don't have to be Singaporean to realize that the core of the themes that underscore this poignant plot here essentially ring of moving tragedy about up-keeping the status quo, chasing vanity and empty dreams, hollow fulfillment in materialistic goals, as well as issues of loss, love and redemption.

If nothing else, the technical work for this film alone is quite simply one of the more outstanding end products I've seen for a film out of the country, even with works that have featured in Cannes or Berlinale over the years by their directors like Eric Khoo. Singapore Dreaming is the first local film to have a production crew that boasts an international claim to fame, and I'm not writing this because my good friend Kao Wen Sheng was a photographer on the set. Its DoP, Martina Radwan, had previously shot "Ferry Tales (2003)" which was nominated for an Oscar in 2004, while film editor Rachel Kittner's work was nominated for an Academy award this year. It is well worth its place as curtain opener for the 19th Singapore International Film Festival.


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