'Hi, I'm an engineer' by Melvyn Lim - part of the CREATE Film Festival

Many guys would have fallen for the insurance agent as well. She appears in immaculate make-up, perfectly-tamed hair and sharpness of manner that commands not just attention but the skipping of a beat in any hot-blooded male. But she appears in the wrong scheme of things. This after all is a film that extols the virtues of the engineering profession, commissioned under http://createtomorrow.com.sg - an initiative to get more people to choose engineering?

‘Hi, I’m an engineer’ by ad agency veteran, Melvyn Lim, presents a beauty parade of women in the context of a speed dating session. The protagonist, Khai, meets a bevy of women, each attractive in her own genre, in hope of meeting someone he could take home. Well, as the agenda dictates, you know he’s going to take home an engineer for sure and she will be the last to appear. But the thrill in watching the film is seeing how he brushes up to the other women in the sequence and the director’s deliberate setup of a guessing game for the audience.

There is the hesitant teacher-like Susan who thinks engineers never leave construction sites. There is of course our dragon lady of insurance. Then, there was almost a footsying brush with Miss Glamour-Puss. Then, I cannot understand how someone can say 'I like lawyers', of no offence to my lawyer friends but that statement seemed a little contrived. Of course, Ling provided the happy ending being the sweet, sensible civil engineering girl who would also fit right into an MOE be-a-teacher ad.

The visual profiling of the women kind of reminds of the pointedness of advertisement messaging, where little room for interpretation can be afforded. But the stroke that makes this film engaging despite the pointed messaging is the use of word tags that replace the presence of any dialogue. The word tags are like speech clouds, which echo what the characters are thinking and saying. The choice of singular words add a sense of mystery and keeps the audience guessing. While Citibank reigns as the pioneer of the use of text labelling in its famous 'price tags' advertisement, this film brings tagging to another level. My only complaint is some of the tags are too telling, spoon-feeding the audience with who's right and who's wrong for him.

Written by Jeremy Sing

Catch the other films in the CREATE Film Festival here.

By the way, engineer or not, the lad playing the guy's got a bright dating future ahead of him. Check out this Razor TV video.

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