Sunday, March 09, 2008

[DVD] Tequila (2003)

Bottoms Up

I suppose most folks in the 20s-30s will readily identify with the predicaments faced by the yuppies in Tequila. It tells of the friendship between a group of professionals and how after 3 years, events change the team dynamics, and things on the facade are not always what they seem. In fact, taking stock of your own personal friendships, you do realize that sometimes people do have to drift in and out as everyone's leading their personal lives, trying to attain their personal goals, but when you get together again, it's almost magical that everyone can go back to the point where you left off.

Unless of course, there are catalysts put in place to stir things up, and what more than those involving affairs of the heart? In Tequila's gang of four, we have Jimmy T as the lead narrator Jason telling the story of his group of friends - Mike (Jake Lam), the successful dot com businessman who seem to have everything going his way, including a beautiful wife Natasha (Christine Sham, whom I believe worked on Eric Khoo's Be With Me soundtrack), Noel (Holman Chin) who from the braggart becomes the henpecked husband after marriage, and Tien (David Ng), the awkward loner of the group who becomes a changed person upon return from an overseas stint.

The nightly talking-cock sessions these friends have over tequila shots are atypical of any male bonding session, and of the many nuggets thrown up, I was quite amused with the one that mentioned never to work for friends, or as a boss, to have friends working for you. Not that you can't, but you're sure to expect some form of unwritten chumminess get in the way of proper employee-employer relationships, especially when it comes to job non-performance.

A huge part of the movie though focuses on the degeneration of Mike's frame of mind, especially when we now realize that he's running into some serious trouble with his firm, and has this friend in the mold of Tyler Durden paying him irregular visits in unexpected places, coupled with his insensitiveness in handling revelations his friends tend to surprise him with. It's quite a dark and gritty looking film for the most parts, and hinges on the camaraderie on the quartet to carry the film through, but as a first film for writer-director Jonathan Lim, I thought that he had weaved together something quite unique, and definitely unexpected. For fun, you can count the number of times the characters pop tequilas or take a swig from the bottle!

Region free DVD comes in anamorphic widescreen presentation though the quality seemed to be rather grainy since it's shot from digital video. Audio is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0. No subtitles are available however, and scene selection is available over 9 chapters in this 80 minute movie. Only the teaser (0:45) and theatrical trailer (2:00) are available, no other extras packaged in. For those who are looking for it, HMV still has copies of it on sale for S$4.95.

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