Director: Kelvin Tong
Cast: Joanne Peh, Yvonne Lim, Chew Chor Meng, Xiang Yun, Huang Wenyong, Zhang Zhen Huan, Zhang Yao Dong, Ng Hui, Paige Chua, Ben Yeo, Kym Ng, Bryan Wong, Chen Shucheng, Gurmit Singh, Zheng Geping, Apple Hong, Guo Liang, Dennis Chew, Chen Tianwen, Nancy Sit, Marcus Chin, Henry Thia, Lai Ming, Zeng Guocheng, John Cheng, Ix Shen
RunTime: 1 hr 31 mins
Released By: GV
Opening Day: 27 January 2011
Produced by MediaCorp Raintree Pictures, It’s A Great Great World is set in Singapore’s legendary amusement park Great World, which was also affectionately known in Hokkien as Tua Seh Kai. Spanning the 1940s to the present day, the film tells the stories of a multitude of characters who lived, worked, played, sang, danced and fell in love in Great World.
Featuring an ensemble of MediaCorp artistes, the family comedy will star Joanne Peh, Yvonne Lim, Chew Chor Meng, Xiang Yun, Huang Wenyong, Zhang Zhen Huan, Zhang Yao Dong, Ng Hui, Paige Chua, Ben Yeo, Kym Ng, Bryan Wong, Chen Shucheng, Gurmit Singh, Zheng Geping, Apple Hong, Guo Liang and Dennis Chew. Familiar comedy names, such as Henry Thia and Marcus Chin, as well as artistes from Hong Kong and Taiwan will also be appearing in It’s A Great Great World.
This year, there are around 7 movies that are released either this week, or the next week, with its target audience aimed at the Lunar New Year crowd. One of the contesting movies is none other than the local production, It's A Great Great World.
As suggested by its title, it is a movie that traces back to the time when the amusement park Great World was considered one of the best entertainment centres of that time. Like the movie, the amusement park has thrill rides, game booths, club and the cinemas. All these were accurately depicted, so much so that someone actually said, “It looks exactly like how it was back then.” On top of that, there is quite a good representation of how the people spoke then, largely in dialects and the not-so-good Mandarin (partly due to the influx of Malaysian immigrants, as well as the mix of dialects with Mandarin in spoken language at that time).
As you have noticed, the credits roll of this film is really long. Expect to see at least 31 familiar looking overseas or local actresses and actors. This turns out to increase the entertainment value of the movie, as the actresses and actors appear where you least expect.
However, characterization wise, one would already have guessed that it’s pretty shallow. Especially when you have four different arcs of the story cramped within the 90-min long movie, deep development of the stories is compromised. But the retelling of the stories and the transition seem logical and smooth enough, thus it still delivers a movie that is easy to watch and entertaining.
Humour wise, it is full of local flavour. There are many dialect jokes that probably strike a chord with most and particularly with the more senior generation. Worked together with the simple stories that are particular to the amusement park, it evokes some warm and fuzzy feeling, as though you were reliving your memories as well; nostalgic and pleasant.
Overall, although the sub plot built on the romance of game booth girl and Malaysian boy seems a little too exaggerated for the society back then in Singapore, the movie is on the whole coherent and spins a nice tale of Great World. It is definitely a positive and interesting experience, especially to those who have never knew about the Great World amusement park. The bottom line is, though the physical landscape of Singapore can change drastically, but the memories of the places we’ve been to will always stay!
(It’s a feel-good movie for all ages. Look forward to a great great time, everyone!)
Review by Tho Shu Ling
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