Director: Graham Streeter
Cast: Makoto Iwamatsu, Zelda Rubinstein,
Tan Kheng Hua, Bobby Tonelli, Dickson Tan, Asran
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: GV
Official Website: http://cagesmovie.com/
Day: 22 March 2007
Set in the forgotten suburbs of modern Singapore,
Ali's attempt to escape repeated bad relationships ironically
puts her before the man she resents most – her father,
TAN. But, the truth is not always easy to face when her father
reveals a dark secret of 20 years past; a past that may cost
a lifetime of relationship.
Not long after Max Makowski’s One Last Dance,
here we have another film shot entirely on our sunny island.
This time, we ditch the gritty slick look visualized by the
Brazilian director and go gaga over the forgotten suburbs
uncovered by American filmmaker Graham Streeter in cosmopolitan
what a good job he has done, bringing us on a journey around
some of the most familiar and nostalgically beautiful places.
Thanks to the wonderful cinematography by Mark Lapwood, familiar
locations like Ang Mo Kio, Tiong Bahru and Club Street never
looked better on the big screen.
when the plot somehow stifles in its 90-minute runtime, you’d
hopefully already be enchanted by the film’s lush images.
that the storyline does not have its merit though, because
it does attempt to tell a family tale that resonates with
hope and love. Tan Kheng Hua plays a troubled woman who moves
into her father’s house with her visually-impaired son
(a very loveable Dickson Tan).
problem is, the old man abandoned his family when the poor
girl was six years old.
premise does make for great drama – and it does. You
empathize with Tan’s struggles to live a proper life.
You think the poor son deserves much better than this. You
pity the old grandfather who seems to have a dark secret to
tell. But there is also an awkward sense of unfulfilled engagement
when the film changes gear and begins unraveling a truth that
ultimately seems inconsequential.
one flaw aside, the show clearly belongs to local stage and
television actress Tan. Her portrayal of the distressed middle-aged
woman is a wonderful showcase of the veteran actress’
talents. Her every line and gesture is so full of emotions;
you’d feel that she is directly interacting with you.
on-screen son is played by 8-year-old first-time blind actor
Tan, who was discovered by the filmmakers when they did their
on-site research at the Singapore School for the Visually
Impaired. It is almost impossible not to fall in love with
his earnest performance.
complement the young actor is Mako Iwamatsu, who plays the
grandfather role. It is especially poignant to watch his portrayal
of the noble figure because the Oscar-nominated actor (The
Sand Pebbles, 1966) passed away from esophageal cancer in
July last year.
a human drama, this film has the universal power to touch
audiences everywhere, including viewers at the Pusan International
Film Festival and Prague Film-Asia Film Festival in 2005.
all you need to do is to reach into your soul, and find that
part of you to feel the complexities that is called life.
(The Singapore you are familiar with is captured superbly
on lens in this story of faith, hope and courage)
by John Li