What's it really like to be a tai-tai (rich housewife), with shop assistants at your feet, a nice house and limitless credit?
What's it like to shag a Cosplay chick who calls herself Princess Hayumi?
What's it like be abandoned by one's parents while shopping at Mustafa?
You will get the answers at Gone Shopping, one of our latest Singapore-made movies showing in cinemas now. The movie, directed and written by Wee Li Lin, focuses on three seemingly different characters who hang out in shopping centres, each out of loneliness or desperation.
Foreigners may think it strange that we made a movie on the theme of shopping. But shopping is often cited a favourite pastime among Singaporeans (particularly females). I wonder what that says about us as a people, though!
I sat through a good part of the movie, feeling obstinately unable to empathise with Kym Ng's tai-tai character who tries to deal with her loneliness as a second wife by buying lots of things. I am not a frequent shopper myself. I often feel pressurised when my girlfriends are buying clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories but I am not. I am usually the one sitting outside the changing room waiting for them. But I like shopping for gadgets, so I'm not entirely immune either!
There is a complicated depth to all the characters. The other two intertwining stories are about a young man who spends his time with another dropout instead of going to work, and a child who gets lost in the toy department and witnesses a strange crime taking place everyday in Mustafa. I won't tell you the whole plot or the ending...
What the film actually shows is that while you can get temporary relief from all your troubles by buying things you feel you want, in the end these material goods cannot act as a substitute for broken relationships in your life. At least, that's how I interpreted it.
With a mix of veterans and promising new actors, the movie is not bad at all for a homegrown production. I would give special mention to Sonya Nair, the 7 year-old girl who put on a moving performance towards the end. The GV Grand cinema was almost empty this afternoon though. Support our local industry!