Promises.

His promises were like one night stands –

Impulsive, sugar-coated and never meant to last past the night.

They were only meant for the then-and-now

Of careless touch and reckless emotion.

For you to open your eyes to daylight after only to regret not saving your belief for something

Less fleeting and more permanent.

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Black.

Black blouse

Black pants

Black skirt

Black dress

Black stockings

Black sneakers

Black flats

Swap them around for almost seven days a week

Constantly in black

Around the ever ticking clock that never stops

For work and survival

But it is starting to feel like an outfit for the walking dead

Day after day after day

Feeling blue

Staining my yellow skin

Seeping into my tired weak red heart

Removing me from my multicoloured paradise of the greens and the orange

And successfully reducing me into a full-stop or a shadow of my being

That ends all joy and laughs and invites only a

Silence as sombre as the colour itself.

 

Fury (2014).

Fury-Movie-PosterI was hesitant to watch this even though everyone has been raving about it for the past week or so. War movies are one of the hardest to ace, in my opinion, without offering the predictable and the overdone.

But to my pleasant surprise, Fury had depth and, with a stellar cast, tugged at my heartstrings and left me in tears by the end of it.

The movie brings the audience back to 1945, Germany. As the war is finally coming to an end, army sergeant Wardaddy leads a tank and a five-man crew on a mission with hopes of winning the war. Dangerously outnumbered, outgunned and out of time, they have to make the decision that they never wanted to – placing their lives right on the line.

Hmm, the storyline was pretty predictable in the sense that you will have a general idea of how the entire movie will end, which character will die first as well as the stereotypical war personalities one can find in almost all kinds of war movies.

But what really saved it and made it worth watching was definitely the level of acting – physicality, emotional depth and nuances of facial expressions, voice control as well as tension of the body. They were all subtle, detailed and carried out with great consideration to make the reactions as realistic as possible (in the given context).

Special mentions go out to Brad Pitt and Shia LeBeouf for having such strong presence from beginning to end and building on the intensity of the journey even during scenes of total silence. They left very strong impressions and their performances got me emotionally involved – in a good way.

Besides that, I quite enjoyed the cinematography even though it definitely was not perfect. It would have been way better if more attention was given to the details of panning shots as well as the realism of it all. The most obvious example would be the ending shot of dead German soldiers in the mud.

They were too neat, too clean and totally off the roads even though I am pretty sure that was not the case during the previous scenes leading up to this. Well.

But well, the whole movie was visually stimulating nonetheless and a provoking watch. There were many memorable quotes as well as questions that served as food for thought.

My favourite quote, “Ideal is peaceful. History is violent.”

I was just so glad that I left the cinema with many conflicting emotions as well as thoughts and perspectives instead of just mere tears on my tired face. This is easily the best movie I have caught this entire month of October.

I might just watch it again.

Priscilla Queen of The Desert: The Musical.

vlcsnap-2014-08-29-15h25m27s241What is to be expected when you place two drag queens and a transsexual on a road trip to an unfamiliar place for a performance that just might change their lives?

Priscilla – Queen of The Desert is about the search for acceptance, friendship and love from the places they visit as well as from within themselves. It is a meaningful tale that goes deeper than the made up faces, feathers and glamorous costumes.

When I first heard about it, I was actually pretty surprised that it is being staged right here in Singapore with a relatively low rating and after learning about the premise, I got pretty excited to catch it but left the Resorts World Sentosa Theatre pretty disappointed.

The sets were bare and uninteresting most of the time. The markings on the stage floor was so obvious and distracting that they caught my eye more often than the visuals on the screen or the props.

Instead of transforming the stage into settings that the characters were in, the audience members were invited to imagine and play along through the words and songs of the performers.

It made me wonder if it would have been better for this to be staged at a slightly smaller venue since they did not require that much stage space for their choreography as well as stage blocking. It might have improved the presence of the cast and ensemble as well as the sets.

In terms of acting, it was generally quite stiff and sometimes words were lost as the actors slurred or spoke slightly too quickly. It also did not help that the sound system was faulty or microphones were left switched off even though lines were already being said.

However, I must say that I really enjoyed Bernadette (played by Jon Santos) and her bitchy comebacks, one-liners as well as her constant eye-rolling when irritated. Her presence was enjoyable and I really liked watching her on stage for her spot-on comedic timings.

Besides that, the singing by the Filipino cast and ensemble were relatively enjoyable in general and it brought the energy of the theatre up. With classics such as I Will Survive, It’s Raining Men as well as Hotstuff, how can one not enjoy themselves? Most of the audience members were grooving and humming along to these jukebox beats and (almost) all imperfections were forgiven.

And ending the whole show with a dance number and getting audience members on their feet to move along before doing a curtain call?

How clever is that to get an automatic standing ovation?

 

 

 

 

Raindrops.

I left my umbrella at home.

And it is raining on these streets crowded with strangers that I have not learnt to love.

Cold, quiet and lost in thoughts, I bathed in raindrops and let them seep beyond these pores.

As I sat on the concrete steps and stared on at the world that stops for no one.

So cruel and fascinating at the same time.

While I feel the raindrops dancing with my blood through these veins.

Cleansing me of any confusion and disappointment.

Biji Mata Mak.

bh_20140927_hmbaba_1288582I was part of the chorus of Anak Mak Satu – A Peranakan Siblings’ production – just a while back in September so when I got offered the chance to actually catch a Peranakan play this October, my first thought was:

Why not?

I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to learn more about this beautiful culture beyond sarong kebayas, food and the songs I encountered during rehearsals and conversations.

Biji Mata Mak, also known as Mother’s pet, is a bittersweet tale of a mother’s love for her adopted son Freddy. After sacrificing all her financial assets for Freddy to pursue an education abroad, he decided to relocate to Kuala Lumpur to live with his wife and shun his mother (Bibik Bong Neo) after a monetary dispute.

Through daily conversations as well as extremely detailed sets and costume changes, the audience is invited to the world of Bibik Bong Neo and to relive this classic that was first staged 25 years ago.

Personally, I thought it was all too melodramatic and the emotions portrayed were mostly physically shown instead of felt by the heart but there were audience members of the older generation that teared as the play went on so I guess they related better to the issues and scenarios portrayed than I did.

What was most interesting about this production was the choice to stick to the native language – Baba dialect that is a form of Malay patois with a mix of Hokkien.

It took me a while to get used to it but thanks to my previous production, I actually understood some of the conversations staged so it was not much of a problem when the English subtitles provided by the side of the stage made several mistakes and was not in sync with the actors. I was able to concentrate on what was going on stage better as well, instead of constantly snapping my head to the side to read the subtitles before turning back to catch the action.

It was also a bonus that a glossary was provided in the programme booklet for audience members to take a look during or after the show just to understand the language better and maybe even learn a thing or two.

With the beauty of the language, costumes as well as props used, it was all visually pleasing and with the seamless scene changes of the sets, the play flowed well and it was easy to follow from start to finish. It was pretty fun to watch since it was a community show to bring the beauty of culture to centre stage and bring people together to remember, appreciate and feel proud about what they have.

(I am so sorry that I am only blogging about this now when the last show was on Saturday. I have been so unmotivated, stressed out and sick the past week.)