Be With Me (2005) (Singapore)

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Be With Me (2005) (Singapore)

Postby hengcs » Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:01 am

Director: Eric Khoo
Cast: Theresa Chan, Chiew Sung Ching, Seet Keng Yew, Lynn Poh, Samantha Tan, Ezann Lee

The film opened the 37me Slection Quinzaine des Ralisateurs (i.e., 37th Selection Directors' Fortnight) at Cannes Film Festival 2005.

The official website is here ...
The trailer is here ...

The film, inspired by the story of Theresa Chan, a blind-and-deaf woman, is a tapestry of 3 stories ...
-- "Meant To Be" features the love and loneliness of a shopkeeper (in my humble opinion, the best of the 3)
-- "Finding Love" relates the one sided love of a fat and under-achieving man
-- "So In Love" depicts the love between two teenage girls ...

What really binds the stories together is not its tangentially related characters, but its underlying theme. In a way, all 3 stories depict the quest for love, and the feeling of despair ... but the horrible feelings seem rather insignificant as to what "real" sorrow is ... and even if one feels that all is lost, the film seems to suggest that all is not the end ... there is hope in life ... and there is redemption ... and destiny/fate is so unpredictable ...

On its own, 2 of the 3 stories might be kind of "familiar" and "nothing new" ... but strung together with the common theme and message, the film had a different flavor (talking about flavor ... there are quite a number of scenes on food and eating ... how Singaporean ... ha ha ha ...)

A few thought provoking lines include ...
"I cannot see and hear the beautiful things in life ... BUT, I also do not see and hear the ugly things ..."
"'Love disappears only when you do not understand what it means ..."

My suggestion on the technicality of subtitles
-- the subtitles (in white) should be bordered with black. against the occasional bright background, some subtitles are quite difficult to read ...
-- the good thing is, the film does subtitle for those who are not familiar with SMS abbrievations ...

Although I recommend the film, I am not sure if I would credit the film more to its partially "real" story than to the craft of film making ... Also, one may have to stay till the end of the film before really appreciating why the film deserves a watch ...

To all those who intend to watch the film, you have to appreciate a film with few dialogues, and be patient with much "reading" (from the typewriter, computer, SMS, letters, and subtitles).

Re: Be With Me (2005) (Singapore)

Postby arsaib4 » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:32 am

I was slightly disappointed with this Khoo effort. Only Theresa Chan's fact-based story had any resonance; the other two (or three, if you prefer) almost felt banal and irrelevant by comparison. Their protagonists were walking clichs who seemed to have been plucked from Amerindiedom, where the "affected" have a tendency to run into each other -- which in this case happens quite literally. Also, Khoo's shot selection and editing left something to be desired, especially for a film which was supposed to rely on a certain pace and rhythm (Tsai was certainly an influence). Perhaps the best move Khoo made was to bring Chan in near the end. She's truly inspirational.

Re: Be With Me (2005) (Singapore)

Postby hengcs » Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:36 pm

it seems like you agree with my earlier statement
that is ...
On its own, 2 of the 3 stories might be kind of "familiar" and "nothing new"

so, where did you catch it?

Re: Be With Me (2005) (Singapore)

Postby arsaib4 » Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:30 pm

Overall, your review is a bit more positive (at least it comes across as so) but that statement is appropriate, I think. Though you point out that those stories wouldn't work on their own. To me they didn't really coalesce with Chan's either.

I watched it on U.S. DVD.

Re: Be With Me (2005) (Singapore)

Postby hengcs » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:33 am

ha ha ...

i have to be "slightly more positive" becos
(i) there are too few singaporean films in the market ... so, i have to be more encouraging ... otherwise, they will die off ...
(ii) but also, in general, i tend to be "rather kind" by trying to see "some good" (albeit minor) in some overall lousy films ... after all, it is noteworthy that for every "lousy" film, there are always some individuals who adore it ... so, i try to brainstorm some plausible reasons ...
e.g., for this film, its invitation to be the opening film at Cannes Director's night might be a reason to do so ...

oh no ... hope u dont hate me for wasting your money/time in buying/renting the DVD ... oh no ... hurry ... escape ...

actually, i only thought that the Theresa Chan's story helped save the film ... that is why i wrote recommended, rather than highly recommended ... hiaks hiaks ...

in case ur review repels all others from this film ...
to those who have NOT watched, i would say ... maybe give it a chance, even if u dont like the film, there is at least a lesson/message to be taken away ...

Re: Be With Me (2005) (Singapore)

Postby arsaib4 » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:53 am

No, don't worry.

Actually one of the critics I admire -- Manohla Dargis of The NY Times -- spoke highly of the film from Cannes '05, and so besides your take that was another reason why I decided to watch it.

"I only thought that the Theresa Chan's story helped save the film... there is at least a lesson/message to be taken away"

I agree!

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