A theatre usher looks for love and finds it in a library book. A cop chases a killer only to wind up at the end of her own gun. A pulp-romance writer confuses fact with fiction and learns that true love comes only after a great loss. The stories that flows from this ebb of desire to find true love leads us various stories that will be amalgam of time, space, consequences and fact and fiction often are not easily identifiable.
After a fantastic induction with the offbeat feature Eating Air, local filmmaker and former movie critic, Kelvin Tong had followed up with the less than satisfying but extremely successful commercial horror film in The Maid. Hes now followed up on his cinematic repertoire with Love Story, a Focus Films venture that recently earned him a Best Director nod at this years Singapore International Film Festival.
In this incredibly surrealistic tableau of the blurring lines of reality and fiction, Allen Lin plays a pulp romance author struggling to envision his next novels heartbreaking romance story and increasingly resorts to meeting women at the local public library he visits in order to reap inspiration. Playing out episodically, the four women (Tracy Tan, Evelyn Tan, Erica Lee and Amanda Ling) are introduced as each of his books love interest with each ending up in a tragic way in his fiction and on screen. Needless to say, after each novel he moves on to the next woman in search of his muse, all the while trapped and lost in his own unspoken narrative..................
Once again, not sure how its international opportunities are shaping up. It's kind of a new direction from Singaporean cinema, less heartfelt and relevant to the country's social landscape than its other native film. Reminded me of Fellini's ideas as a director in 8 and a Half but this time in a writer's world. Unfortunately its not as polished nor observant and its execution needs plenty of work. Still brave enough to have done it, it will surely annoy audiences looking for an easy narrative to follow.
What can be said is its colours and cinematography were fantastic, its vividness and sharp visuals won Kelvin Tong, a ex-movie critic, a Best Director nod at the Singapore International Film Festival. There's hope for us yet boys and girls