If like me, you’ve not been a big fan of local movies, Tiong Bahru Social Club might help restore some faith in that area. Given that it’s still out in cinemas, this review will be spoiler-free.
“Wes Anderson meets Black Mirror”. But I’m sure you’ve heard that already. Playful, cheeky and quirky, it’s a soft sci-fi movie set in Singapore. The cinematography is beautiful, with bright bold colours that are aesthetically pleasing.
With very few lines of dialogue, the plot is deceptively simple. I’ve read reviews saying how the plot is too thin or empty, but I beg to differ. A lot of the storytelling occurs when you read between the lines and in the characters’ expressions and beautifully constructed scenes.
Though it’s a utopian (or dystopian) version of Singapore, the movie accurately captures many aspects of Singaporean culture and pokes fun at certain uniquely Singaporean habits. The movie is primarily in English, but the way it effortlessly switches between different languages makes it feel authentically Singaporean.
I thought it was a wonderful movie, one that hits very close to home, leaving you in a slightly contemplative mood about Singapore’s society.