Linda, Tracy, and Chris are a trio of teenage girls who decide to celebrate the last day of high school by having a slumber party at Linda's house. A few guys also show up to further ... See full summary »
They come in all shapes and sizes. They could be your mother, your daughter, your sister, your girlfriend, your wife... even you. Ranging from a 65 year-old school principal to a biker ... See full summary »
In 1992, teenager Sandi Tan and her friends Sophie and Jasmine shot Singapore's first indie-a road movie called "Shirkers"-with their enigmatic American mentor, Georges Cardona. Sandi wrote... See full summary »
Sophia Siddique Harvey,
Singapore's top policewoman, Miss Cleopatra Wong, who heads the Seasian Interpol Criminal Investigation Department (C.I.D.), teams up with her Filipino counterpart to bust a counterfeit ... See full summary »
Death of his wife's pet poodle and a threatening movie producer create a world of trouble for a middle-aged B-movie mogul. He hires two psychopathic goons to take care of it, which only creates more trouble and attracts the cops.
A two-part film featuring the stories of two individuals with unusual sex lives in Tokyo. The first part deals with a young, gay man bored with his live-in boyfriend that he seeks solace in... See full summary »
That's the gist of most of the dialogue in this made-in-Singapore film, and it is the earnest dialogue that kept this film "real" and not cringeworthy if it had been polished English language skills used instead.
Following the chronicles of Ah Bengs, Ah Boy, our anti-hero protagonist played by Benjamin Heng, introduces to us his gang of arcade playing, motorcycle riding, and rooftop gathering friends. While street corner gangs are not as sophisticated as organized hoodlums, they too practice their own brand of honor. Petty fights are common, and so are motorcycle challenges. But when his best friend Ah Gu chances upon drugs and borrows from loan sharks, what will happen to their friendship, as the challenges that they face become more and more dangerous.
Romance is in contrast to the reality and ugliness of street gangs, With Ah Bengs, there surely is their Ah Lians hugging their torsos on bike rides (jiak hong in Hokkien, for joyrides). Alvina Toh plays Ah Girl, Ah Boy's main squeeze. The moments together are bittersweet, boy-meets-girl, falls in love, boy-loses-girl, punctuated with an excellent soundtrack done by local acts like the Boredphucks. It's back to the old days where mobile phones are not as prevalent, and calls are made to each other using early technology like pagers and voice messages, which was nostalgic (brought back some memories lah).
Heng brought life to Ah Boy, with his crazy kung-fu imagination (think Ally McBeal style), as he evolves from an aimless wanderer, to crazed impetious street kid who stands by his pal. Toh too plays her role convincingly, as a schoolgirl seduced by Ah Boy's carefree ways, to becoming someone with inner strength.
This film manages to gel its subplots together, adding much to its depth. While its protagonists are street gangsters, it makes no attempt to glorify nor condone their actions, and therefore doesn't feel preachy on what's right or wrong.
Adding the comedic touch are Michelle Chong, in her heavy accented mandarin as a lao chio photocopy shop owner, and Mark Lee, veteran TV beng who plays, what else, a dua kang lao beng who pines after a mysterious lady (played by singer Kit Chan).
It's always a blast to see familiar locales, and more so in a Singapore film. Places recognizable are Lucky Plaza and Katong Shopping Centre, and of course, the CTE takes a substantial chunk of the narrative, the location where we start off, and end.
For some reason, I didn't catch this film when it was released in 1999. Perhaps it's because of the unfamiliarity with local productions, and now I kick myself for being a tad myopic back then, but glad to have caught it during Screen Singapore. Think I'm gonna have one heck of a fun time as Screen Singapore progresses.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this