Sunday 6 September 2015

Selfie ... Singapore swinging wildly

WOULD you kill someone just because she has a predilection for taking selfies?
    WHY is the detective assigned to the murder cases so against narcissistic people taking selfies? Did he take a look at himself sporting a designer stubble, wearing designer sunglasses and driving an Alfa Romeo car?
   WHAT proof does he have that people were dumber now than when they were not taking taking selfies?
   WHY does a 10-year-old flower girl in a white blouse pop up near murder scenes, and why does she stalk the heroine psychologist?
   HOW does the flower girl get away with murder, that is, how can she charge S$10 for a rose?
    AND, finally, what the heck is The Gimp from Pulp Fiction doing in Singaporean film Selfie?

    As you can guess, director Mikael Teo's English film is riddled with plot holes, a risible script, bad acting, shaky camera movements, terrible focusing (the subjects become blurry) and harsh music.
   I used to think that Singaporean films were a notch above Malaysian films in terms of quality, but after seeing Selfie, I have to dispel that notion.
   A brash detective, James (former MTV VJ Richard Herrera) who is never without his black leather jacket in tropical Singapore, begs the police chief (Joe Moreira) to let him take on the case of a woman found murdered with a knife in her heart. The chief is unusual in that he likes to wear hats and uses words like "lowdown" and "absurd".
   James' language is peppered with profanities. Meanwhile, he's a proud user of an old sliding phone, which precludes him from taking selfies. I can't believe that he does't have a smartphone in this day and age, especially when everyone's in a work chat group.
  The chief gets psychologist Dr Audrey (Carla Dunareanu) to work with James. She dresses like she's
German-born Carla Dunareanu will have to
analyse Selfie's many faults.
going to the philharmonic orchestra when she counsels her clients, is single, lives in a huge but sparse condominium, and is fastidious about arranging her cup of tea and sugar sachets.
  Viewers will quickly notice the bizarre framing of scenes.
   After the second murder of a woman, who, like the first victim, has a liking for taking selfies, Audrey decides to take the plunge: she takes a selfie. The music for this scene is Dance With Me, Bitch. Just what is the director trying to say???
     James then makes his astute observations about the culture of narcissism associated with taking selfies and people getting dumber just because they like taking selfies. I don't know where he gets his ideas from and how he can get away with making sweeping generalisations. Even psychologist Audrey doesn't challenge his assumptions.
  Audrey starts getting weird messages from a blocked number. Someone is copying her selfies and pictures she's taking and sending them back to her.
   To our surprise, Audrey keeps the messages to herself and doesn't tell anyone about it. You'd have thought that after three selfie killings, she'd have rushed to tell the police about it.
   James drops by Audrey's office, which, surprisingly, doesn't have a secretary. He makes a comment about Audrey's father's wealth when he sees her luxurious office.
  They notice the flower girl, and that she makes her presence known before the second murder takes place.
   The girl tells Audrey that she knows her. "Everyone knows you." She is referring to Audrey taking selfies, but blur Audrey keeps on looking puzzled.
  The flower girl's presence is bewildering. She pops up in a few places, and I'm wondering who'd force a girl to work long hours and take long walks in the heat. She makes a nebulous statement about taking selfies, but viewers may wonder how she finds the time to look at social media.
Former MTV VJ Richard Herrera is
 threatened by a murder suspect for
appearing in Selfie.
  James, meanwhile, is well groomed but his house is a mess; it's more like a pig sty. The discordance between his clean-cut look and his messy house is jarring.
   Also, why does he open his door without checking who's outside? Is this how people in strictly-regimented Singapore live? I didn't feel any sympathy for him when he is attacked.
   Audrey gets a message that another victim can be found somewhere. She goes there in her cocktail dress but finds The Gimp there. The whole film has been a weird experience but this tops it.

0 out of 5 stars

Pulp Fiction's Gimp. 

Selfie's Gimp.


No comments:

Post a Comment