`18 Grams of Love' by Han Yew Kwang

Achtung! Singapore! I bet anyone who writes about 18 Grams of love after watching it would be like writing the New Testament. Once leaked, it will spread like wild fire. Han Yew Kwang has been keeping this delightful secret for too long. It needs to get out to the everyone, to the HDB hubs, from Boon Lay to Bedok! For those who are helplessly shackled to the thought that for local comedies, the diet never extends beyond Jack Neo, they would be happy to know that someone has finally come up with new tunes.
18 Grams of Love is about 2 men who suspect that their wives are cheating behind their backs. So they devised an ingenious way to investigate this. By writing nicknamed love letters to each other's wives (swopped though), if the wife responds positively, then she is conclusively guilty. Of course, as you would expect, their plans end up in disarray and all hell breaks loose. And in between all that, there were just too many jokes for a simple review to do justice.
Watching it the cinema is a no-brainer. But supporting their appeal for support in commercial distribution would certainly motivate Yew Kwang to thrill us with more comedies for the years to come!

Panorama Crosstalk #9

(Stefan) : 18 Grams of Love, I love. Easily the best local movie this year at the SIFF for narrative features, and I'd put my head out on the chopping block to declare it one of the best, if not THE best, in the last 5 years.
(Jeremy) : If you put yr head on the chopping block, there is no one to do film reviews anymore
S : Lol there will be others!
J : It’s `last 5 yrs' I quote. Your stakes are very high.
S : Yeah the stakes are high, but in all honesty, I have enjoyed myself tremendously
J : Are you sure there aren’t any other better than this? S : Name one!!!!
J : Am thinking!!!
S : The only other I enjoyed was Singapore Dreaming, so sorry ah Colin and Yen Yen, gotta bump SD to #2 spot for now.
J : Home run!
S : Well.... Home Run was essentially a Majid Majidi movie lol
J : Liang Po Po
S : Huhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhu. (beat) No. (pause) And it's more than 5 years old I think.
J : 12 storeys..........................
S : ..........
J : Sorreeee just kidding.
S : 12 storeys is also not bad. (pause) But 18 Grams is the best (beat) hands down.
J : So tell me why?
S : I think one of the reasons was there isn't "Singapore" plastered all over it.
J : Eureka! I have not seen it in this way!
S : Not in the title and definitely not in any of the shots... no STB approved scenes like Merlion, Sentosa, Botanical Gardens, Changi Airport, etc. A lot of movies just can't wait to showcase "Singaporeaness" in their scenes.
J : I can’t agree more.
S : This one just doesn't and it is focused on wanting to tell a good story, which it did.
J : But I prefer Singapore Dreaming though. It’s number 1 for me.
S : I did like SD too. (pause) By the way, another plus point - the language. Again, it found no need to use dialects, Singlish etc.
J : (nodding)
S : It had Mandarin, and powerful Mandarin too, but not too difficult for kantangs (Westernised) like me to appreciate. J : I know among many filmmakers, writing a `a-laugh-a-line' comedy like this is not easy.
S : Comedy's never easy.
J : There are also not many comedians who are `a-laugh-a-line’, think only Kumar is.
S : The 4 of them are not even comedic actors to begin with, save for maybe Alaric.
J : Okay, this is interesting. Who did you find the funniest?
S : Magdalene See, hands down again.
J : Aiyoh! you like her `khkhkhkhkhkhkhkh'. Tak Boleh Tahan (unbearable). S : As I mentioned in my review, she nailed her 13 points siao char bo role to a T. (pondering pause) But actually, you got to hand it to Yew Kwang for crafting 4 very distinct characters, each with their own personality.
J : So the funniest is actually Han Yew Kwang!
S : Exactly.
J : You hear him but you don’t see him!
S : I think he might be on to creating something unique in his own brand of humour.
(pause) Then again, it's not all fun and laughter. It had an important message at the end too. Anyway, love a lot of things about it! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. (pause) Sorry, fan boy mode. J : You had fan boy mode for Homeless FC too by the way. (beat) At least, I am quite composed for 18 grams.
S : I got money parked aside for a commercial screening, and the DVD, should either be out.
J : Are you serious? (beat) Though I think you must be serious. Lol.
S : I think it deserves to be watched by a lot more people other than the 150 lucky few who got tickets early for SIFF.
J : Okay, sounds like we should stop discussing the plot because many people will be yakking about it in months to come!
S : I am still surprised it didn't have more than 1 screening available during the Festival.
J : Don’t worry, the $$ will do the talking for the film now. (and Vice versa). Can see it coming.
S : 2008 release! 2008 release!
J : Watch out all filmmakers! We found a new sugar daddy.

Surprisingly, it does not have a website, but its got some footprints here :
IMDB Link : www.imdb.com/title/tt1127682/
A Nutshell Review : http://anutshellreview.blogspot.com/2008/04/siff08-18-grams-of-love.html

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