As the title of this article would
indicate, the recreation of the Kallang Roar as a full
length motion picture was almost as tough as our local
soccer heroes had it back in the 70s. The cast and director
were at Amara Hotel’s function room, giving us
the lowdowns on the difficulties of making the Kallang
Roar and what the essence of this film about.
the uninitiated, Kallang Roar is a trip back to the
1977 when Singapore Football scene was at it’s
feverish peak. This movie follows the passion and struggles
that Singapore’s national soccer coach, Uncle
Choo Seng Quee (Lim Kay Siu) underwent to bring nationalistic
pride and glory back to Singapore. Together with local
legendry players such as Quah Kim Song (Leon Quah),
Rajagopal (Bhaskar Subramanian), Samad (Melvinder Kanth),
Mat Noh (played by Randall Tan) and Dollah Kassim (Anwar
Hadi Bin Ramli), the 77s team packed the National Stadium
to the full capacity of 70000 and created the Kallang
Roar that moved a nation.
wasn’t easy for the footballers back in '77 as
they had to juggle between a 8 to 5 work, representing
the country and had centralized training aka in-camp
training. Much sacrifice was made and the actors of
Kallang Roar went through the similar kind of torture
for this film project. Filming often starts after normal
working hours and would last till early morning (around
3am to 4 am). After which, it was a few hours of rest
before work and the whole routine would repeat itself
till the entire filming (which took weeks) was over.
is the harsh reality of Singapore independent filming
as Singapore actors had to supplement their income while
chasing their dreams. But they all felt that such sacrifice
was all worthwhile as it was their dream to present
the struggles and triumphant of the 77’s Singapore
tricky problem in recapturing those golden local soccer
moments were that as most of the cast members are only
casual players. In order not to let the legendry soccer
heroes down, the cast went through intensive soccer
training, studied the step by step game play that happened
during the 77’s Malaysian cup and getting in touch
with the heroes themselves.
actors who were unable to get in touch the characters
that they were representing had two other options to
study their character extensively and that’s through
google and the director Chen Ding An. (Since Google
didn’t pay us for advertising fees, we shall not
go on about it’ greatness and focus on the director
it comes to the first time director, the cast were in
unison that he done his preparation well and was able
to lead like a season professional in tackling the problems
that this independent film faced. Armed with his $70
worth of photocopies of the 77’s soccer newspaper
cutting and other in-depth interviews / research, he
is the go to man when ever they got any questions about
their characters or events that had transpired.
it wasn’t his readiness for this project that
was infectious. His passion to bring that sense of national
pride that existed back in the 77s was even more heartfelt.
Together with Santhanaram Jayaram (who played Ganesan),
, and veteran actor Lim Kay Siu to bring Uncle Choo
unweaving passion for Singaporean pride onto screen.
The director pointed out that even after orchestrating
such an improbable feat against internal and external
obstacles, any mention of Uncle Choo is sadly absent
from the Singapore sport museum. He felt Uncle Choo’s
passion and energy needed to told.
was an uphill task for the director and cast but with
the strong bond that was foster during the film making
and the passion for Singaporean pride, they pushed on
and finally, Kallang Roar is almost completed. The last
and most important bit would be for our local audience
to come support this film like what it was back then
and perhaps you will feel that sense of pride that somehow
missing with our current sports.
Chen Ding An and Santhanaram Jayaram did a Kallang Roar
short film to convince investors to fund for the full
Lim Kay Siu worked with Chen Ding An and Santhanaram
Jayaram after his theatrical works, from 6pm to 12am
until Lim Kay Siu was so tired that he requested for
a break and had to continue another day.
The role of Quah Kim Song was the most sought after
but eventually it went to his son, Leon Quah. The director
also told us that Leon was able to do the diving headers
that his father is famous for.
Sadly no cameo by the actual soccer players could be
included as the filming schedule was too early in the
morning (3am anyone?)
Roar" opens on 21 August 2008 and is reviewed here.