Saturday, April 05, 2008

[SIFF08] Waiting for Love

I'm Bored

Having not enjoyed James Lee's earlier two movies Before We Fall in Love Again and Things We Do When We Fall in Love, I had chosen to watch this because I'm a completist and want to experience in their entirety, his Love trilogy. Waiting for Love is the last component, and if I were to put them all together, I would gladly say this one would rank on top.

But it's again not an easy movie to sit through, exhibiting the usual styles employed in James' earlier movies. It's an extremely talky movie, which I thought at times resembled The Art of Flirting. Technically it consists of very long takes with no fancy editing involved, and the camera hardly moves here, akin to watching a play where the actors inhabit the frame, and nowhere else, since it involves all interior, living room sets.

In Waiting for Love, he crafts 3 separate segments, each its own short story, but dwelling on the same themes throughout involving couples in love. The first segment had the girl on "strike". and we see the guy go about finishing up all the household chores, before sitting down and revealing that he discovered a love letter written to her from an admirer.

The second involves a bummer of a guy who's afflicted with a urinary problem, and the girl, a successful career woman, having to wonder where their relationship will end up. And the last short contains an amalgamation of the plot points from the previous 2 segments, which really seemed to contain a sense of deja-vu in some of the dialogue exchanged, and themes discussed.

The meandering dialogue really tested one's patience, like in the first segment it went around the bush repeatedly about the throwing away of the letter, or not to, and it just continued without an end in sight. For the most parts, the common theme threaded throughout involved marriage, and about the fear of tying the knot, with all the insecurities that come to it, and the uncertainties of the modern perspective of it. While one had hoped that different perspectives would probably be experienced amongst the different characters, they did somehow became similar, as if to say that these issues are common issues that every couple at this point of the crossroads, would experience, regardless of their background of their relationship and the context they are in.

If I were to select my favourite segment, then it would have to be the first one, because of the unfortunate identification with it, along the lines of avoidance and rejection, and of the cruelties with having an inexplicable change of heart. Now that really hurts, and more often than not, difficult to find closure.

The SIFF Singapore Filmmakers Interview Series
Kan Lume, Writer-Director of Dreams From The Third World
HAN Yew Kwang, Writer-Director of 18 Grams of Love
ENG Yee Peng, Director of Diminishing Memories II
Sherman ONG, Screenwriter-Director of Hashi
James LEONG and Lynn LEE, Directors of Homeless FC

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