6.3/10
110
3 user 23 critic

Unlucky Plaza (2014)

Trailer
2:05 | Trailer
Father. Restaurateur. Hostage taker. How did one man's financial woes spiral into a harrowing crisis that captivated the world?

Director:

Ken Kwek

Writer:

Ken Kwek
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeffrey Quizon ... Onassis Hernandez
Adrian Pang ... Sky / Terence Chia
Judee Tan Judee Tan ... Michelle Chan
Shane Mardjuki Shane Mardjuki ... Pastor Tong Wen
Liang Guo ... Baby Bear
Janice Koh ... Cindy
Pamela Oei Pamela Oei ... Mrs. Heng
Andrew Lua ... Ping
Christian Wong Christian Wong ... Popoy
Osman Sulaiman Osman Sulaiman ... Inspector Azman
Anita Kapoor Anita Kapoor ... Herself
Jennifer Ebron Jennifer Ebron ... Ruby
Juwanda Hassim Juwanda Hassim ... Haz
Petrina Kow Petrina Kow ... English reporter
Nicholas Lim Nicholas Lim ... Officer Wong
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Storyline

Onassis Hernandez was once the proud owner of Singapore's most popular Filipino diner. But a food poisoning scandal triggered by a disgruntled cook has left him on the brink of bankruptcy. When he is further outdone by a financial scam, Onassis loses it. He takes a group of people hostage in a millionaire's bungalow and the crisis, captured on video, sparks an international outcry. Will Onassis be finally pronounced a victim or a villain? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sh*t hits the fan in the world's safest city.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Singapore

Language:

English | Tagalog

Release Date:

8 January 2016 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,732
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kaya Toast Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Ken Kwek also shot the music video for "Riot City", the official theme song for Unlucky Plaza. The track by Singapore funk rock outfit Ugly In The Morning is played in the film's opening and end titles. See more »

Connections

References Riot City: An Odyssey (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Bangau O Bangau
Arranged and performed by Art Fazil
P & C, 2009 - Life Record Ind.Pte.Ltd / Nusantara World Music, Singapore
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User Reviews

 
One of the most enjoyable local film I have seen in a while
18 April 2015 | by ctowyiSee all my reviews

Finally, a locally made film that has no ghosts, no frivolous humour, no forced-down-your- throat sentiments, no singing praises of government policies and it is not even arty farty. What it has in spades is a clever social satire wrapped within a tightly-plotted hostage drama with doses of inspired black comedy. This is something you don't see often in a local film.

Synopsis - Onassis Hernandez was once the proud owner of Singapore's most popular Filipino diner. But a food poisoning scandal triggered by a disgruntled cook has left him on the brink of bankruptcy. When he is further outdone by a financial scam, Onassis loses it. He takes a group of people hostage in a millionaire's bungalow and the crisis, captured on video, sparks an international outcry. Will Onassis be finally pronounced a victim or a villain?

Review - The protagonist may be a Filipino but fear not, this is very much a Singaporean film. I love seeing all the usual stereotypes of our super materialistic and uppity religious society but without all the chest-heaving preachiness. I also love seeing how the movie floats all the usual xenophobic undercurrents in front of us but trusts the audience to make the judgement for themselves. The narrative doesn't play like a straight arrow which does invite some much welcomed pondering. There is done of that "so scare the audience won't understand, let's tell them everything" stance which is such a welcome change. You do have to pay attention to the dialogue and action in order to build information about each character. I don't know about you but for me I love a cerebral exercise anytime and I love it when a director respects the audience.

The cast is quite impeccable and every role is cast well. I particularly enjoyed Onassis Hernandez's arc and Epy Quizon plays him marvelously. He essentially plays the biblical Job role where anything that can go wrong goes wrong for him. His desperation feels very real, a superb actor. Elsewhere, I like Adrian Pang's role of a self-serving motivation speaker but I did wish his lines could have been better (my yardstick is Tom Cruise in Magnolia who is hard to beat). "Money blueprint" sounds like some poorly concocted power phrase. I must say, Judee Tan is so good as a spiritually lost adulterous wife that I didn't see any Teo Chew Mui or Riz Low in her at all (her more famous alter-egos). It feels like I am seeing her for the first time.

One of things I always tell my kids when it comes to characterization is that the protagonist at the end of the story can never be the same person as he was in the beginning of the story. Ken Kwek's writing is astute in that when all the principals finally reach the hostage drama, every character is rightfully different from when the crisis finally ends. Well, maybe not Guo Liang's ruthless gangster character but he does get his comeuppance. Absolutely love the many twists and turns which are never over the top and the black comedy. I especially love that scene where Hernandez brandishes his cleaver named 'Ah Tiong' and commands his hostages to lock the doors, windows and draw the curtains. There are three floors of this!

Where the movie falters for me is a couple of scenes of the general public demonstrating and the destruction of Hernandez's diner. If you live here long enough, you will know that that never happens. Still, nothing much takes away from my enjoyment of this refreshing local film which truly resonated with me. I love Ilo Ilo (2013) but I knew then I would never want to watch it again. But in the case of Unlucky Plaza I would gladly sit through this again.


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