Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

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Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

Postby justindeimen » Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:48 am


This is a poignant, yet darkly humorous story about a typical Singaporean family coming to grips with their aspirations. It weaves a layered and moving tale about a family dealing with loss, ambition and the search for what really matters in life.

Movie Review:

Colin Goh will always be synonymous with talking @#%$. The author/lawyer/cartoonist had turned filmmaker with his debut feature with the love-it-or-hate-it Talking @#%$: The Movie. Satire is the name of the game when discussing Goh. He founded Singapores foremost satirical website (, expanded it into CDs, a movie and a dictionary defining Singapores colourful patois. He (with the co-direction of his wife) has finally added another notch to his belt with Singapore Dreaming, which first bowed as the curtain raiser for this years Singapore International Film Festival and is now gearing up for its island-wide commercial release.

One thing you can be sure of is that this film is no dud. In fact, its one of the most richly textured, amusing and expressively lyrical pieces of filmmaking that I have yet seen. It is deceptively astute in its construction of a typically extended Singaporean household. Its a remarkable and cogent portrayal of family politics by its cast, grounded in emotion and realism. The film should be a significantly different experience for a local compared to a foreigner when viewed, as its more an observation for those who have not lived through the system their entire lives. As a local, however, you feel like youre on the inside looking out. It just means that much more.....

Continued at


I don't think a lot of auds outside the South East Asian region will get to see this gem. It captures Singapore living to a tee. If you ever wondered how Singaporeans live, this is probably the most truest film that you can possibly see. One of my favourites this year. As a Singaporean, I can not help but feel how personal this is.

I'm sure its reached some festivals abroad, I just can't remember which.

Here's a clip:

Re: Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

Postby hengcs » Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:35 am

glad to see you posting actively.
* if only i have more time *

anyway, i have wanted to watch the film during SIFF
but they did not sell the tickets on the first day ...
they promised to call me when it went on sale ...
but they never did ...
but the time i realized, all tickets were kind of sold out ...
sigh ...

So, did you like this better than 4:30?

PS: did you watch Love Story? or The Art of Flirting?

I watched them during SIFF.

Love Story was above average (quite commendable in terms of "art direction" and "cryptic messages" ... but after a while, the "directing effort" got too "conscientious"/ and "contrived"/ and tiring ...)

The Art of Flirting ... i was "convinced" into watching it from ... but frankly ... i would rather not comment on it ... i think it should remain as a "short" ... it would have been better ... it was also true that several people walked out after a while ...

Re: Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

Postby justindeimen » Fri Jul 28, 2006 4:14 pm

Shame you didn't get to see it and about the demand for SIF tix. Would be one of the reason why I didn't fly back to Singapore soon enough to attend, knowing I might not have been able to attend screenings I wanted.

I saw Love Story. Didn't like it but admired it for most part.

Ket me post the review in abit.

Re: Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

Postby A » Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:47 pm


Your review starts promising, and I'd like to read more of it, but sadly the link doesn't work...
Maybe you could post them complete n the future, or is there an issue with copyright?

Re: Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

Postby hengcs » Fri Aug 18, 2006 5:48 am

Hi A,
I clicked both links and they worked ...

If I am correct, I think there is just an "ethical" rather than "copyright" issue (I may be wrong though). I think (in Singapore) has tied up with some theaters locally to offer FREE premier screenings to those who are willing to write reviews for them. Hence, it is only ethical that the reviews are posted there "kind of exclusively". But who knows, maybe justin can say more ...

Anyway, I agree justin is helping with posting lots of reviews ...
to justin,
I think members of this board do appreciate your reviews ...
* hear them clapping *

If only I have more time ... I have been missing a lot of reviews from the film festival which I have attended some mths ago and I have NOT watched any film recently (despite the tons of good movies screening in Singapore) ... for those wondering why singapore features so many different films (i.e., the "turnover" of films is often fast) ... becos singaporeans are amongst the highest movie goers in the world ... and becos the population is little, they have to change the films more often ... ha ha ha

PS: I have just gotten a free ticket to watch LEMMING ...

Re: Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

Postby justindeimen » Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:18 am

Hi A, I'll try to post a couple of them in full and some not in full, just to mix things up abit. Tell me if the link doesn't work for you though. Do try again when you can, its a film that I've enjoyed thoroughly and just oozes social commentary in a way that isn't so pretentiously heavy-handed.

heng, I'll be catching Lemming as well, but not sure if its a different date from yours. If it isn't, I'll catch up with you at the screening. Check out the Chai-Lai Angels thing I did, will you be going for any of the Sawadee Film Fest?

Re: Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

Postby A » Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:41 pm

The link is working now . Maybe it was just a temporary problem.
Heh, if I would get free screenings, that would certainly make me write more. But I doubt that I'd keep such a high quality if I'd be reviewing regularly.

Re: Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

Postby justindeimen » Fri Aug 18, 2006 4:00 pm

It's really not about the free screenings, though it does make it easier and makes viewing much more pleasant when you aren't sitting in the middle of 2 coughing/chewing/boisterous patrons at a public screening on the first day of its opening. It's just a good way to get your opinions out at the end of the day, especially if you've something to say.

Re: Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

Postby hengcs » Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:34 am

Wuote justin,"heng, Check out the Chai-Lai Angels thing I did, will you be going for any of the Sawadee Film Fest? "

I am kind of busy these few months ...
so i am giving it a miss ...
otherwise, i will be more diligent in my reviews ...
ha ha ha

Re: Singapore Dreaming (Singapore / 2006)

Postby hengcs » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:50 am

The official website

The trailer

The teasers

Other clips

My 1 cent worth:

For the first 30 min or so, I wasn't exactly sure why critics and those who have watched during the film fest like the film ... to me, it was initially just okay ... save for the fact that it is very "singaporean", and there are a few familiar "incidents/jokes" that we can identify with ... but to me, it really looks like another TV series ...

Fortunately, as the film proceeds (i.e., last 1.5 hr or so), i have to agree that it becomes "depressingly" nice ... there are a few scenes that will make you sad ... and think ...

i am also glad that the directors do not seek to resolve everything ... although i think the ending is still "kind of happy" rather than sad ...


Overall, recommended ... only because it touches on several issues of being singaporeans that many can relate to ...

somehow, i still think that it could be better ... as of now, it still feels like a lot of "very familiar bits and pieces of jokes/incidents" pieced together to become a coherent story ... a story about different people within the family ...

somehow, my gut feel is ...
- mainstream moviegoers are going to prefer "I NOT STUPID" and "I NOT STUPID TOO" ...
- artsy audience are going to prefer 4:30 ...

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