First Takes - `Together' by Ivy Lee


`Together' is the concerted effort of Ivy, her selfless family members, her friends, her many years in TV and her passion. In a way, the story parallels the experience she went through to shoot the film. Apparently, her family agreed to move out of the house for a few days to allow her to use the premise as the shooting location. In the story, the female lead has a pretty-looking boy called QQ as a boyfriend. If his behaviour is anything to go, it is questionable, quirky and a little queer. Anyway, he wants to spend Christmas in her house. But she lives with a loud family she is embarrassed to show. So, she find ways to chase them away for a few days. Then, all goes awry when QQ revelas his ulterior motives. Not linked to sex, by the way.

The film captures various moments of her family life with a lot of heart but with the looseness of TV drama. The acting is spirited, with the upside being a piece oozing with sincerity and the downside being reminded of a stage play in which you have actors trying to upstage each other by being boisterous.

The female lead is an young girl initiating herself into a adult world with plenty of insecurities and a huge puppy-dog crush. She's got a doting and naggy mother who wears the apron as well as the pants in the house. Her father, to me, was just a familiar local film talent who has appeared in countless dramas, lending nothing to this film. She has an exuberant sister who epitomises the stagey and slapstick-quality of this comedy.

The storyline is typical of a family-themed TV soap. It ends conveniently with a reunion between her and her family. While Ivy's attempt to mirror facets of her family life in the film, gave this hearty comedy some depth, the execution and characterisation still had a lot of undeveloped potential. The most glaring of all was that we had a motley bunch of family members who do not seem to have independent lives of their own. They existed solely for the plot and even worse, hamming it up at every chance of a spoken line.

There are some actors who have faces made for glossy ads and perhaps not gripping drama. The last time I saw Lawrence Wong in a short film was one about online dating called Electronica, I love U. I remembered nothing of his role but only of how his facial aesthetics lit p the screen. This time, fortunately, his aesthetic quality was used for a plot purpose - to steal.

Share:

0 cent worth