`Dance Of A Modern Marriage' by Ellery Ngiam

Ellery will set the standard for pushing the boundaries of local independent films in a new direction. The extravagant and BIG. Let's analyse the still above. Brass chandeliers. Premium crystals. Plumes aplenty. Melwani-type furnishing. a pair of good-looking talents (I really mean Debra and the French guy, can't see the other girl). The total cost of it: a Citibank Visa perhaps.


While this film will set many tongues wagging for various reasons (which it already has mostly for being paired up with Road to Mecca), it is really a very well executed piece. The script is a credible effort. The direction is sturdy and trained. The art direction needs no comment. The photography and lighting is immaculately sleek. Debra and Rodney were comfortably watchable as the leads.


However, I felt the goodness of it all seemed to fit more into the framework of television viewing. Perhaps the main driver could be how the storytelling tended to account for too much, leaving little to guessing, doubting, suspecting and playing along, like the characters themselves in the house.


Basically DOAMM is about a married couple whose relationship is on the rocks. They fail to see eye-to-eye on things and have a son at stake. The husband takes her out to a party one night. It is not an ordinary party as it turns out. The colonial mansion (looking like Supreme court from the outside) is filled with beautiful people, somewhat reminding you of Stanley Kubrick's `Eyes Wide Shut'. And the draw? Everyone is part of and can participate in a flesh buffet. Things happen and hours of confusion later, the husband sees something that rekindles his love for his wife. So, that's moral of this modern marriage.It is a refreshing and rather memorable topic for a film. I would imagine an increasing number of people can relate to in Singapore. Debra and Rodney each played their role to an intensity that allowed me to follow that emotional roller coaster and understand the psyche of people engaged in a swinger's party. In fact, taking away the spectacle of the party and the sexually informative scenes, the couple was really holding most of the film together. Check out Ellery's website for more of Dance of a Modern Marriage and his other short films : http://www.elleryngiam.com/

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