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15 back to product details

Singing the Non-Praises of Singapore
written by talltale December 11, 2005 - 5:31 PM PST
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Singapore, the land of economic opportunity and caning, can now add moviemaking to its list of quasi-accomplishments, if a fellow named Royston Tan's "15" is to be believed. I've witnessed "disaffected youth" movies from America, Britain (and its provinces), Thailand, Korea, Hong Kong, China, Japan, and all over Europe and Scandinavia, and this counts among the more colorful, palette-wise, and also the one that can find almost nothing worthwhile in its own culture. Scenes of gang attacks (speeded-up for cartoon effect) alternate with those of tattooing/piercing and drug-use-cum-vomiting (then conversing with a trash can: an original touch).

The funniest moments arrive with a charming cartoon assessing various manner of suicide. Sound effects figure interestingly, as well: The boys are walking along when--thud!--and they wheel around to see (whoops, no spoilers here!). You might presume that "15" was banned on its home turf for showing drugs, violence and the male reproductive organ, but these are most likely excuses for the real reason: its presentation of Singapore as an uncaring, vile and loveless place. In its way, oddly enough, "15" is a love story, but one that takes an awfully long time to rev up. You'll have to be satisfied with that color, some pretty fair performances, and the chance to see a movie made in caning country. Good luck.


(Average 6.64)
14 Votes
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