Review - 'Fullout The Musical' by Daniel 'Bob' Ng (NTU ADM Film Class of 2013)

“Fullout the Musical” is very much a student production in two respects. Firstly, the dance sequences shot on the NTU campus bears an uncanny resemblance to the videos calculated to promote vibrant school life broadcasted all over campus. Secondly, the mood and structure of the short film makes it appear to be the film adaptation of a student orientation performance.

Like most student orientation performances, it is implicit in the film that the priority is to derive laughs from the audience instead of developing the plot. This would explain the long detours into the comic relief subplots. Instead of mining any comic potential from the main plot of Jayden feeling increasingly estranged from his newly dance-obsessed girlfriend Mia, the bulk of the film’s middle is dedicated to a musical number featuring Jayden’s friends hamming it up about how girls love macho men who take charge.

The film attempts to add a little depth to the main plot through an allegorical twist. Towards the end, Jayden is revealed to be a closet lover of dance. His embrace of Mia in the last musical number thus not only represents his acceptance of Mia, but also his acceptance of his innate talent for dance. If this triumphant sequence is specially prepared for a student orientation performance, the live audience would no doubt cheer and clap as if on cue. However, when viewed in the more solemn setting of a dark cinema, one would be more aware of the lack of built up to the grand reveal.

Nonetheless, “Fullout the Musical” is commendable for being a daringly light-hearted entry among a collection of tragedies. Like how student orientation performances are meant to celebrate the successful end of an orientation camp, this film serves its purpose to celebrate the end of the filmmakers’ undergraduate years.

Review by Joseline Yu

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