terrible it would be, if you lose both your
sense of sight and hearing? Not exactly
true, according to filmmaker Gloria Chee.
Do not forget, we still have our sense of
smell, and that is one important aspect
of life, says the director of Smell of Rain,
the latest Mandarin film Singapore can be
sense of smell is a natural and powerful
force,” Chee tells movieXclusive.com
after a media preview of her debut full-length
feature held at The Arts House.
watching a show in a dark theatre, we often
rely a lot on our eyes and ears. With this
film, I hope viewers can appreciate the
things we smell as well.
are many things around us which we need
to slow down and appreciate,” she
adds in an inspiring tone.
Chee’s work tells the story of a lonely
young man, whose only connection is with
his childhood friend. His static world loses
balance when a nubile young girl enters
his life. This interpersonal relationship
will ask viewers what they have been missing
in their frenzied everyday life.
Having graduated from the pioneer batch
of Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s renowned
Film, Sound and Video (FSV) program, the
perky and articulate 33-year-old has waited
10 years for this film to be produced. Like
most local productions, funds posed as the
main problem. With price tag of $150,000.00
Chee happily tells us that it has been one
meaningful journey for her.
is with all the help from sponsors, family
and friends that this film is made possible,”
she smilingly proclaims.
The talented Chee not only directed the
92-minute film, but also took on the roles
of the producer and scriptwriter as well.
the story I’m trying to tell is how
we should look at ourselves and on a personal
level, how I stepped out of my own world.”
This theme is especially poignant for 22-year-old
Nathaniel Ho, who plays the role of the
lonely young man abandoned by his mother
during a rainstorm many years ago.
Ho says politely: “I am quite a reserved
person myself and joining the media industry
definitely gave me the opportunity to step
out of that world.”
Currently an artiste with Mediacorp Studios,
not only did he sing the theme song on the
film’s soundtrack, he had to survive
18-hour shoots over 12 days, and the public
eye as well.
Recalling one of the scenes where he had
to do a long take of him and fellow cast
member Leah Low walking and chatting in
a park, he laughs: “Because we had
no proper filming accessories, the camera
crew had to be pushed around on trolleys,
and it looked really silly, “Passers-by
were looking at us, but we completed that
scene in three takes,” Ho states proudly.
Taking on the role of the girl that would
change his life forever is 23-year-old Low,
who shares the same sentiments when it comes
to the hectic and tiring filming schedule.
“Everything was worth it, because
the film has managed to capture something
poetic and meaningful.
through this film, I hope we can all reflect
on our past, present and future,”
the graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s
Film and Media Studies says positively.
Joining these two new actors at the preview
was the third member of the principal cast,
24-year-old Trey Ho, who plays the protagonist’s
childhood friend. Having dabbled in theatre,
the recent graduate of National University
of Singapore’s Theatre Study Programme
still finds it a challenge in his debut
lot of the acting is through expressions,
and not mere reciting of lines,’ says
the sturdy actor.
What is one thing he hopes local audience
will take home with them after watching
the show then? After some thought, he tells
us the something which echoes his director’s
earlier words: “We all need to slow
down and touch base with ourselves, and
How very inspirational, we’d say.
Now, if only we can all subscribe to that
outlook in life, the smell of rain would
definitely be a wonderful one.
here for our review of “Smell of Rain”
by John Li
| Layout: Linus Tee | Photos courtesy of