I watched a film in the library while waiting for the film screening for my Singapore Films module, hence I managed to catch two films in a day. It's a bit taxing since the library isn't the most comfortable place. I really don't understand, any other chair/bench/stool in the library is more comfortable than the ones in the multimedia viewing gallery. The ones at the study area/computer cluster, the ones in the refreshment area, even the coloured stoods at level 4 there are all more comfortable. However, viewing a film in a LT is really great, has the feel of a cinema. hehehe~
I checked it out of the library counter.
I was an English copy version, as in not an international copy or a German copy or a Singapore copy. It looks a bit dodgy, especially that it was not yet officially released in Singapore when our library got that DVD. I remember it was first released in a film fest, then a couple of months later our school bought this DVD then the film officially opened in cinemas in Singapore.
Before I go into the film proper, let me do the usual fangirl stuff. That actor who acted as Sophie's brother, Hans, is damn shuai. He's Fabian Hinrichs~
Okay, back to introducing the film proper. Contary to my thoughts, Sophie Scholl was not the name of a scroll, but it's her name, her family name's Scholl, like the shoe you know... And contary to what I thought, Sophie Scholl was not Jew at all. She was a typical German girl with ideals and compassion for her own folks. Previously, whatever I knew about the White Rose society was limited to anime and manga references, but watching this film made really really reflect about history and thought about war.
The whole film chronicled only five days, the last five days of Sophie's life. I don't think I need to give spoiler warnings since this is a fact that I think everybody should have already know, it's not called The Last Days for nothing. The film opened with Sophie still a very free and easy girl making plans with her girlfriend and stuff, then we see her heading for the White Rose meetings with her brother, Hans Scholl. Their plan was to distribute pamplets in the school while trying to prevent being caught. Sophie and Hans volunteered.
Then they were caught, and everything heads for a downward spiral with lies, accusations, betrayal, and even the interogater wanting to save Sophie but she declined because she wanted to stay true to her ideals. Then we learn more about Sophie as a person. On the outside she looked so firm and indignant and very much the strong headed girl, but as time went by and she knew her time's near, she thought about her parents and her fiance and her brother, we see her not as strong as when we were first introduced to her. She is after all only a 21 year old girl, or as the film calls her, a Fraulein.
The film is almost documentary style because it portrays merely facts and events from Sophie's eyes, more like a motion biography. The words chosen to use in this film is really very thought provoking. I tried my best not to look at the subtitles to immerse myself fully into the film. yea... My previous mention about the film being English is because of this, the subtitles CANNOT be turned off. What a turn off. I wanted to watch it without the subtitles. The dislogue was simple and clear, easy for understanding, so it wasn't a problem for me if there weren't subtitles, but it being there distracted me quite a bit and I was sort of forced to look at them.
The acting was superb. All the actors were great. Especially the girl acting as Sophie, she did it with much conviction. Also to mention, the actors of Hans and Christoph Probst were great too. And the person acting as Mohr. I thought the person acting as Lohner looked a bit like Hitler. lol~
10/10 for the story and the acting and the whole execution.
While watching Sophie Scholl in the library, the person behind me was watching this, and I caught a couple of snippets of it before going for the screening. I think I prefer screenings to squatting in the library in such an uncomfortable position.
Before I watched it all I knew was that it was a take on John Travolta's Saturday Night Fever. It turned out to be pretty delightful, funny and witty and nostalgic. The whole film looked pretty 70s to me and Adrian Pang was wonderful and fitting in his character Hock. His gang of brothers were also very funny and entertaining. The gem was still Hock's brother, Leslie. I thought his redition of Leslie was so cute. hehehe~ And all the different dressing ups of Kumar, it tickled and left the LT in giggles.
Other than the fun parts, most of the film dealt with the normal poor boy kena bullied by rich boy but poor boy still wins in the end kind of show, so in a way it was very predictable.
The one thing that impressed me a great deal is the use of English in the film. As we all know Singapore films tend to be very chap pa lang in the language used which I really dislike and I personally think that if we want to market our films to a larger global audience, we have to just stick to one language, and maybe snippets of dialects is fine, but not a full rojak language film. Forever Fever did this well. The Singaporean accent was still there and everything so it was natural as a local film.
Another thing which I'm still pondering over, is it just me or do I think that Pierre Png's head looks really big? Or is it just his hair style? hmm... And he looks damn skinny too.
Another thing I like about this film is that it doesn't show a seedy side of Singapore which seems to be prevalent in the other Singapore films. For once, Singapore is not portrayed as a poor country with poor people who're upset over everything. And also there's not sex and prostitutes which make Singapore looks seedy and well, not the kind of urbanised image that I have of Singapore. Even though the film was portraying the 70s, the people were still smart and happy and well fed and able to indulge in their interests even though they didn't have excess cash.
So what is my notion of Singapore Film? I guess I still have to ponder about it slowly~