Director: Han Yew Kwang
Cast: Lee Chau Min, Tan Hong Chye, Yeo Yann Yann, Alaric Tay, Catherine Sng, Soundrarajan Jeeva
RunTime: 1 hr 21 mins
Rating: NC-16 (Mature Theme and Some Sexual Reference)
Official Website: http://18gpictures.com/whmt
Opening Day: 3 Dec @ Arts House and Sinema Old School
a bra falls on Ms. Teochew, she immediately wins the lottery.
Meanwhile, Hainan-boy, whom the bra belongs to begins an earnest
search for her lost bra. Her trails leads her to the home
of Ms. Teochew, where a struggle leads to Ms. Teochew being
booted out of her rented home. Feeling guilty, Hainan-boy
invites Ms. Teochew to move in with her. Will this be the
start of a beautiful romance?
When Hainan Meets Teochew opens 3 December at
The Arts House and Sinema.
Tickets are available at
http://www.bytes.sg/ and http://tix.sinema.sg/
our interview with director Han Yew Kwang here.
The Facebook page of this local production
tells us that this is an “un-romantic comedy”.
But there is something about this 81 minute film which we
found extremely romantic, and it isn’t just the unconventional
love hate relationship between the two protagonists. There
is something about the promising verve and dynamics of creativity
that we adore here, especially amidst the tiresome slew of
formulaic comedies out there in the market.
And it’s something worth celebrating
in the local filmmaking scene.
The screenplay written by Han Yew Kwang (Unarmed
Combat, 18 Grams of Love) tells the story of a womanly man
and a manly woman who become an unlikely couple. Brought together
by a lost brassiere, Teochew (the womanly man) and Hainan
(the manly woman) find out what it takes to live up to the
expectations of the notion that Hainanese men are said to
be make the best husbands, while Teochew wives are said to
be the prettiest.
If you haven’t been confused by the
mix of gender and dialect groups, and are still with us here,
you would be chuckling at how director Han has conjured an
interesting concoction of a mismatched couple who do not fall
into the nice moulds of a charming male lead and a gorgeous
female protagonist. To make things more interesting, cast
in these two roles are relatively unknown names Lee Chau Min
and Tan Hong Chye – but how spot on this casting is.
Having played bit roles in other productions,
Lee and Tan take up the challenge to anchor this film with
their very engaging performances. Though not award winning
material, you’d be duly entertained by their on screen
presence from start to finish. When paired together, the not
so tall Lee and the towering Tan make a very amusing sight
to behold. The two actors are joined by more familiar names
like Yeo Yann Yann (881), Alaric Tay (TV’s The Noose)
and Catherine Sng (TV’s School Days) in supporting roles
which make up an impressive ensemble.
Shot on the Canon 5D Mk II by the director
of photography Liu Long Fei, the colours presented on screen
are lush, elegant and pleasing to the eyes. The snappy editing
by Grace Xiao complements the pacing of the film, while Neil
Lim’s quirky score adds a nice jest to the story. Producer
Lau Chee Nien brings all the elements together to make this
film with a distinct local flavour – expect nothing
less than familiar dialects and, gasp, vulgarities which earned
the film its NC16 (Mature Theme and Some Sexual References)
rating from our friends at the censorship board.
There are no expensive sets, deafening explosions
or fancy special effects here, because Han has written a story
which doesn’t require them. What you’d get instead
is a grounded comedy which doesn’t bank on contrived
setups to milk those laughs. As there are laugh a minute moments,
there are moments in the film worth reflecting upon. You’d
be moved by the human connections between the characters in
the story, and this is done through Han’s smart scripting.
the film ends with the two leads sharing a special moment
together, you’d also feel and experience for yourself
the unassuming romanticism between two human beings.
(You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’d
want to celebrate this unique spark of a movie in the local
Review by John Li