2 user 3 critic

Here (2009)

Not Rated | | Drama | 25 June 2009 (Singapore)
1:27 | Trailer
An amalgamation of the directors interests and experiences in painting, conceptual art and sound art.


Tzu Nyen Ho


Tzu Nyen Ho
7 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Jason Chang Jason Chang ... Shaun Wong
John Low John Low ... H
Jo Tan Jo Tan ... B
Hemang Yadav Hemang Yadav ... Freddie
Andrew Hillyard Andrew Hillyard ... Robert (as Andy Hillyard)
Sudeep B. Singh Sudeep B. Singh ... Valentino
Paul Lucas Paul Lucas ... Dr. C
George Kuruvilla George Kuruvilla ... Nurse Editor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chuen Boone Ong Chuen Boone Ong ... Monsters Man


A television switches on. A mind snaps. A man discovers his murdered wife. As he stares at her lifeless body, the events leading to her death play before him, like in a movie. HERE follows the journey of He Zhiyuan, a middle-aged man who struggles to make sense of his reality. Reeling from the sudden death of his wife, he loses the will to speak and is interned at Island Hospital. There, he meets strident kleptomaniac Beatrice with whom he forms an inexplicable bond. As He adjusts to life within, he is selected for an experimental treatment, which forces him to confront the devastating truth behind his past, present, and future. Meanwhile, a filmmaker visits Island Hospital to document the lives of the staff and patients. Written by www.herethefilm.com

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English | Indonesian | Nepali | Mandarin

Release Date:

25 June 2009 (Singapore) See more »

Also Known As:

Aquí See more »

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User Reviews

It will blow your mind in a quiet way
6 February 2014 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

First a warning... Despite what the DVD description, plot summary and even the film's official website may lead you to believe, this is not a thriller. It is not a tense, mind warping journey of a man "struggling to make sense of reality", "reeling from the sudden death of his wife" and being subjected to "experimental treatment forcing him to confront the devastating truth." All that stuff was probably written by some overzealous marketing agent to entice adventure-seeking audiences. I hate to think of how many people will be suckered into watching this with the promise of some exciting, dark plot like a Christopher Nolan film. Not so.

So what's this movie really like? It takes the approach of a documentary. But at the same time it frequently slips into omniscient perspective, so it can't be called a documentary. It's hard to describe but it's very low key. There is almost no action, almost no drama, and most of the characters are completely emotionless (and I don't mean cool like Batman emotionless, I mean dead like catatonic emotionless). This is not what I'd call an "entertaining" movie, so if you're in the mood for an entertaining flick, I hope I've saved you 90 minutes of disappointment.

What you get instead is a powerful, very thought-provoking experience that may keep you up all night trying to figure out what it's all about. It's as if you've just inhaled a Tolstoy novel.

As I said, "Here" takes the form of a documentary, so it's reminiscent of Herzog in its realism. But unlike Herzog, director Tzu Nyen Ho is much more methodical with the camera, forsaking hand-held shots and instead using slow, majestic camera work to convey his visual poetry. If you're familiar with Taiwanese director Ming Liang Tsi ("The Hole", "The River") or Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda ("Maborosi", "After Life"), then you might start to get a feel of what to expect: long, lingering, poetic shots designed to augment some intense, philosophical ponderings. The American analogue might be Stanley Kubrick, and the British version could be someone like Peter Greenaway ("The Falls"). But despite stylistic similarities, Tzu Nyen Ho creates something truly unique.

The acting is so realistic I had to see the credits to make sure that the people weren't real mental patients and this wasn't a real documentary. The director definitely crafted a believable spectacle.

You may be wondering: if there's no action, no drama, no eye candy, then why bother watching this movie? Well, I can tell you what hooked me: the wisdom. The same way a fortune cookie can make you ponder the meaning of life, this movie gives us dose after dose of compelling thoughts. For example, a criminally insane inmate points out the irony of how we live our lives constantly moving toward the future; yet we can only understand our lives by revisiting the past. Another character, a depressed genius who is obsessed with chess, sarcastically talks about the greatest strength a human can have--"amor fati" or "love of fate"--the desire for a predetermined roadmap, like the inescapable outcome of a game of chess against a superior opponent. Yet another very interesting character is a woman who is incarcerated for stealing but she explains that "property itself is theft" so she was only taking back what they had stolen from the world. You realize that these are not raving lunatics but intelligent individuals with the keen insight of madness. It brings to mind the famous Nathaniel Lee quote "They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me."

People whom "Here" will definitely appeal to: anyone interested in psychology, anyone interested in philosophy, and any aspiring filmmakers or artists out there. A recurring theme is how the patients are told to act out their memories on video. Thus memories are validated only after other people see (or rather *approve of*) the re-telling. If that ain't the root of artistic expression I dunno what is.

If you like any of the directors & films I mentioned above, don't hesitate to check out "Here". I'll also throw in Wim Wenders ("Paris, Texas", "Wings of Desire") and Kubrick with his long, slow scenes and powerful use of stillness. If you can give it your undivided attention, "Here" is guaranteed to make your brain light up like a Christmas tree. Why else would I be up at 2 am writing this review? Argh

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