`Shut In' by Pamela Pang

It is interesting to know that `Shut In’ coincides with the news report about the Austrian monster of a father who locked in his daughter in the basement of the house for a fraction of her lifetime. Shut In is about a young broody man who voluntarily shuts himself in his HDB flat for reasons unknown. Visually, it is the expected - newspapers strewn all over the place, unwashed crockery, wears and tears, propped up or concealed temporaily by masking tape. However, on the few occasions he stepped out of the house, a seemingly inconsequential young girl literally pops out of nowhere and asks for a space in his house. I was wrong, she did matter as the story progressed.


After a few awkward rejections by the young man, she decides to just gatecrash. It still beats me that she ran in without any luggage! Because her tools of change that were about to affect his life were powerful. In small and sure steps, she fights his coldness and passivity to bring a different tone of life to the flat. Then eventually, one fine day, in a dream-like scene, the flat is transformed and it even has the actors wearing new clothes to match, clothes in the patriotic colours of National Day.

Sounds cliché? I thought the film had a interesting touch in the narrative department though. When the girl was staying, there was a stranger who mysteriously knocked on the door once. He refused to open and remained quiet till the stranger left. The payoff came later when after the transformation scene, the girl disappears. Previously, the knocks seemed like part of his imagination and the girl, a sweet reality. But now the tables are turned, the girl is a dream and the stranger’s knocks, real. The camera takes us to the other side of the door and reveals the stranger to be his mother who is bringing food to him. A clever twist that made me unravel all that I comfortably guessed initially.

Check out more on the production's blog http://lunapictures.wordpress.com/

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