Thursday, April 10, 2008

[SIFF08] After the Rain (Short)

Directed by Royston Tan, After the Rain tells of a story between a father and son, and having them relocate out of their kampung and into HDB. It's a more uplifting storyline to his earlier shot Sons, where the relationship between the same subjects was filled more with a regretful tinge, but nonetheless one of my favourite shorts of his.

While this one offers again very high production values, coupled with the greenish looking hue like we're so familiar with in 4:30's, somewhat rather After the Rain seemed rather emotionally empty under the glossy veneer. No doubt well acted, you can't feel much for the characters, perhaps because its run time was too short to allow room for development, especially so when the bulk of the second half seemed to be a chronicle of life in the army, with unit living, passing out parades, physical training and the likes of the standard obstacle course being shot so romantically, it's made to look easy peasy.

Then it dawns upon you during the end credits. This is a short meant for the Army Museum of Singapore, which is why the dad's Temasek green uniform from yesteryears also made an appearance, and probably suggests a household of military career men given the way this short could have moved towards. Probably the last short that Royston did for Zhao Wei Films before he recently started his own production house called 1028, I thought this could have been a lot more, coming from the inside, rather than to have a very polished look that everyone else can be seen to be catching up on, running a little empty on the emotional tank. But then again, it's for the army.

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