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  Publicity Stills of "Gone Shopping"
(Courtesy from GV)

Genre: Drama/Comedy
Director: Wee Li Lin
Cast: Kym Ng, Adrian Pang, Aaron Kao, Sonya Nair
RunTime: 1 hr 40 mins
Released By: GVP
Rating: NC-16
Official Website: www.goneshoppingthemovie.com

Opening Day: 26 July 2007


Synopsis :

"Gone Shopping" is a darkly funny character study of three eccentric urbanites who escape to the shopping centers in search of a new frontier.

Leading the repertoire is a tragically romantic 40-year-old tai tai who desperately wants to be loved, followed by a feisty 8-year-old girl who desperately wants independence and finally an angst ridden 22-year-old 'Gen-Y' boy who desperately wants to find his manhood. This motley crew lead audiences through a journey of love, loss and lunacy in the heart of Singapore where they find that their dreams can be bought and broken.

In the midst of it all, they also cross paths with other creatures of the mall, each of them with their own strange retail tales to tell.

Movie Review:

It saddens me to say this, but Singaporeans are a depressed lot. There’s this constant and desperate search, for that elusive thing called happiness. And no thanks to the bustling city we live in, we seek solace in the most mundane of things like watching movies, eating at expensive restaurants, and most undeniably, shopping at malls.

And here you have it, a disheartening look at our sad little souls in this local movie about urban alienation.

In her feature directorial debut, Wee Li Lin directs local TV host Kym Ng, newcomers Aaron Kao and Sonya Nair in a film which brings three disconnected Singaporeans together in shopping malls. Their distressed attempts to escape the harsher realities of life play out coldly against the backdrops of the hectic malls.

Local viewers would have a great time identifying shopping centers like Tangs, Marina Square and the 24-hour Mustafa. But look beyond these trivialities and you’d find a worryingly reflective portrayal of urbanites we are all so familiar with.

Ng’s unhappy housewife seeks solace in posh and classy shoes and bags, Kao’s angst-ridden youngster searches for the true meaning of love, while Nair’s idealistic kid is faced with the not-so-nice truths in the cruel world. These forlorn characters are played affectionately by the local actors, some with more feelings than others.

While the supporting characters are convenient caricatures of Malaysian salesgirls, a heartless two-timing husband and an uncertain girlfriend, they manage to entertain in an otherwise distraught movie.

The 100-minute runtime of the film is easy to digest, with commendable cinematography that showcases the bright lights and lively streets of Singapore. The occasionally melancholic soundtrack will grow on the more emotional viewer too.

The talented Adrian Pang has a bit role as a salesman who crosses paths with the Ng’s dejected tai-tai, and he effortlessly slips into his role with ease and comfort. Watch out for the sweet scene between him and Ng shot outside Tanglin Mall – the dreamlike sequence will charm the most cynical.

There may be an overdose of local works chronicling the lives of miserable urbanites, but when you hear Ng’s voiceover ala “Desperate Housewives” in the finale of the movie, you’d realize that there is no way we can escape this wretched cycle of depression.

The only way is to head to those malls and buy, buy, buy.

Movie Rating:

(Exploring alienation against the backdrops of shopping malls, this local movie takes an honest look at a culture we are all familiar with)

Review by John Li

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