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Genre: Drama
Starring: Kym Ng, Adrian Ng, Aaron Kao, Sonya Nair
Director: Wee Li Lin
Rating: NC-16 (Some Coarse Language)
Year Made: 2007



- Director & Kym Ng's Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Teasers & Trailers
- Photo Gallery




Languages: English/Mandarin/Tamil
Subtitles: English & Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
Running Time: 1 hr 37 mins
Region Code: PAL 3
Distributor: InnoF
orm Media




Clara is a forty year old ‘tai tai’ (wealthy lady of leisure) who faces a mid life crisis and decides to runaway to the only place that has ever made any sense to her – the shopping centres. In the shopping centres, she crosses path with other ‘creatures’ of the mall, namely, Renu, an eight-year old kid who has been abandoned by her parents in a 24 hour mall; Aaron, an angst-y twenty three year old who skives work to hang out at the mall with his friends and Valentine, an ex-boyfriend who is now manager of the bed and linen department on a popular store


You may remember reading this columnist’s review of Wee Li Lin’s debut feature film when it was released theatrically in July last year. So why is he tasked to review this DVD release then? Well, because he was quite a fan of the film, and this disc is apparently a director’s cut which Wee submitted for international film festivals. So in an attempt to relive the melancholic enchantment that he remembers fondly, he decided to accept the assignment of watching this movie at home – to see whether there is a different take on the film.

While this reviewer is no match for his fellow columnist’s meticulousness and diligence (you may remember reading a certain DVD review for a Jack Neo film which compared the original PG and NC16 versions side by side), he tries his best to spot the additional scenes added to this DVD release, and see whether it makes any difference to the original theatrical cut.

The story intertwines three lonely urbanites who feel alienated by the world around them. These three characters each has his or her own story: A rich but unfulfilled “tai-tai” (which is amusingly defined as a wealthy lady of pleasure on the DVD sleeve), an angry young man who wishes to break out of the norm by choosing to live in an alternate fantasy world, and an innocent young Indian girl who faces the harsh realities of life too soon when her parents leave her at a shopping mall.

Running at 97 minutes, the film is aptly paced with three extra scenes not included in the version shown in theatres (correct this reviewer if he is wrong – his failing memory isn’t doing him any good these days). These scenes shed a little more light on the character’s backgrounds and their relationships with other characters. While it does not significantly impact the plot in any dramatic way, the inclusions does not jar the originally well made movie in any way either.

So why is this reviewer even more impressed with the director cut of the movie? Because about a year has passed since he watched the theatrical version, and he still finds the story which the filmmaker is trying to tell very affecting. The themes of urban alienation and the constant search for the elusive contentedly happy state of mind is something that will haunt us forever, no matter how much we try to submit to commercialism and escape to our wonderful shopping malls to buy, buy and buy.


This Code 3 DVD contains a marvelously insightful "Director & Kym Ng’s Commentary" where you get to hear some cheerful banter between the director and her lead actress. You get to hear interesting trivia about the film’s casting, location scouting and the blink-and-you-will-miss-it cameo by the director herself. And somehow, we prefer Ng, who plays the rich “tai-tai” speak in Mandarin. Elsewhere, there are six "Teasers & Trailers", a "Photo Gallery" and three "Deleted Scenes" running at a total of five minutes. For a local movie, this DVD contains an extraordinarily bountiful load of special features, which makes it worth purchasing. Interested collectors - don’t be put off by the cheesy DVD cover art though .


The disc’s visual transfer makes the stylishly HD shot film look gorgeously captivating, and in true Singapore spirit, the movie is presented in its original Mandarin, English, Tamil, some Malay and dialect audio tracks. 



Review by John Li



. Gone Shopping (Movie Review)

. Interview with Director Wee Li Lin

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This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm Media


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