If you are in your 50s or 60s that have lived the pop scene in Malaysia-Singapore in the 1970s, you must watch this movie. It is based on the real story and teen years of Singaporean singer-composer Dick Lee - with lotsa drugs, sex and music.
Such films wouldn't have been possible, say ten years ago, with our censorship board in this draconian part of the world.
To the younger audiences, this may be your chance to take a peek at how your parents might have lived their lives once upon a time. And understand why they may be nagging at your hanging out with friends during the wee hours of the morning - knowing the perils lurking in the dark.
"WonderBoy" will bring you monumental detail of nostalgia, like: buying your first cigarrette and taking that timid first puff; and your crush on school boys in all-white uniforms, or girls in blue pinaforte at your favourite bus stops in town. And also those house parties and slow dances where very soon you find everyone else snogging away like hippies.
I particularly like the concern for details to the locations, set design and props used in the movie. Like the choice of colours that symbolises the psychedellia presiding in youths as they stoned their brains away frolicking, amid high colour saturation and smooth camera movements bringing the surrealism to the surface.
The film is well scored musically, as it should be with Dick at the helm, directing it with the help of Daniel Yam, a director that has made films that literally got millions of people cry their hearts out all over the world. This is Dick's first time directing a film, as in a non-stage production.
I would rate "Wonderboy" highly as a musical with great cinematography and acting.
Benjamin Kheng carried the nervous and frustrated teen and lead character very well, so did the rest of the main cast delivering their parts.
However, I do find the script a little weak with relatively flat character arcs. Also, while I like all of Dick's compositions, I find the last song in the film, sang by Dick himself, a little out of place. But I won't spoil your fun by telling you,l. Go and watch the film and find out.
This is MM2's first foray into an English language movie. Do support, so that it will pave way for future such films to be made.
"WonderBoy" movie premiere gala @ Marina Bay Sands Mastercard Theatre, Singapore on 1 Aug 2017.
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