Winner of The Singapore Screenplay Awards 2001
Official Selection at Shanghai International Film Festival 2006
Genre: Dark Comedy
Director: Gilbert Chan, Joshua Chiang
Starring: Timothy Nga, Cindy Teo, Kevin Murphy,
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: M18 (Coarse Language)
Opening Day: 3 August 2006 (The Picturehouse)
Terence is a lonely clerk resigned to his dead-end job at
a jewel store. Ben is a pushover who becomes a hero only in
his fantasies. Michelle sells pirated pornographic videodisks
after school to pay for her brother's education. They are
complete strangers with nothing in common except for their
hard luck and unfulfilled desires. Then, a series of events
in one day leads them to cross paths with one another and
change each other's lives forever.
three interwoven tales, S11 tells of how each character experiences,
and through their actions and the machinations of fate, change
each other's lives in ways none of them could ever imagine.
Throw in a desperate old robber, two foul-mouthed punks, and
a mysterious gangster called Brother Long, and you have a
hilarious comedy about how each persona's action, no matter
how small, can have life-altering consequences.
Welcome to the worst day of the lives of a loner, a loser,
and a lolita-like babe.
Three individual, personal and parallel stories combined into
one narrative, anchored in a petrol kiosk setting where the
lead characters converge in a night. It's always interesting
though challenging to weave and tell a story using a non-linear
narrative, and local directors Gilbert Chan and Joshua Chiang
managed to accomplish that with seeming ease.
And having the lead characters such as the Loner, Loser and
the "Love Interest", provided different avenues
for local audiences to identify with. The way Terence (Timothy
Nga) gets stuck in a cyclic mundane job, and had having screwed
up big time by losing his company's takings for the day, of
how Ben (Kevin Murphy) got fired from work, suffers under
a domineering mother, and decidedly determined to reinvent
his life (for the better or worse depending on your point
of view), and Michelle (Cindy Teo) rebelling against establishment
with her china doll outfit and red wig, coming from a dysfunctional
home, and owing loansharks thousands of dollars for unwittingly
being a guarantor.
However, it was natural that the characters were not given
equal screen time, and herein the pace might seem a little
uneven. Scenes involving Terence seemed primarily to set the
stage for the primary plot device - a bag containing a large
undefined sum of money, which crosses hands multiple times
throughout the story. While Terence's character largely remained
silent, Michelle's scenes were in contrast, filled with plenty
of dialogue, but most seemed to drag the movie’s pace,
and having too much focus having her predicament on repeat.
Also, being the last segment, an audience might experience
too strong a sense of deja-vu when her act comes into the
The strongest storyline of the three would belong to the Ben
character. Infused with plenty of comedy, be it plain wit,
fantasy sequences or sight gags, the character had ample opportunity
to develop and grow, and had it easy being the popular character
amongst the group, despite his "loser" tag. There's
a running gag in his seemingly feminine exterior with a Doraemon
pink t-shirt, and his dreams of having saved the day like
a reel gangster who shares the same name as himself - Chen
Hao Nan, in the Hong Kong Young and Dangerous franchise.
There are several familiar elements and scenes in this movie
that invokes memories of certain cult favourite films.The
tapestry of the money woes which interlaced with gangster's
threats and multi sub-plots reminisce of the intricate planning
done on Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrel. Michelle's fashion
and quest brought back memories of Run Lola Run and even the
bike riding scenes in S11 had a certain Wong Kar Wai's Fallen
Angel and Kevin Tong's Eating Air feel to it.
S11 was effective in bringing back those memories and meshing
it up with imagination and expertise, keeping the audience
wondering what going to happen and what had happened before.
However it could have work better if some supporting characters
were given less background details and perhaps focus more
on the romantic dilemma better the loser and the babe.
is not exactly the best films that Singapore have to offer
in recent years but it does has it's unique indie flavour
that worth checking out. Looking back at how Eric Khoo progressed
with each new film, it will be exciting to see what Joshua
Chiang and Gilbert Chan have to offer in the future.
stands out amongst the local offerings in having interwoven
three points of views into one non-linear narrative, infused
with huge doses of black comedy)
by Stefan Shih and Richard Lim Jr