Last month’s Golden Horse Awards ceremony in Taipei marked some of the first bit of movement we’d see for director Boi Kwong’s new crime thriller, Geylang, taking home a nomination for Best Action Choreography nodding Singapore’s own Sunny Pang in the process. The film will now have its European premiere next month during the 52nd International Film Festival Rotterdam which now lists its official trailer on its info page, along with some insight on the film courtesy of IFFR programmer, Fiona Armour:
On the eve of a parliamentary nomination day in Singapore’s Geylang district, a cast of frenzied characters converge in the twists and turns of desperation, betrayal, love, hope, and greed. The players? Fatty, a pimp with an 80s mullet and a demented elderly father; Shangri-la, an alluring sex worker and her cigarette-selling boyfriend Jie; Celine, a women’s welfare lawyer and wife of a political candidate; and a mysterious, sinister doctor. In this gritty and sleek crime thriller, everyone is on a mission and nothing is what it seems. Who will survive the night?
With the taut and quickening pace of a neo-noir, filmmaker Boi Kwong explores themes of class, political corruption and issues of violence, particularly against sex workers, through the ultra-neon veneer of the notoriously seedy red-light district. This underbelly of sin is a self-assured character, lending its dark alleys, brothels and bright lights to the shifting perspectives and frenetic angles of cinematographer Ronnie Ching, whose Steadicam and handheld shots emphasise the volatile immediacy of Link Sng’s gripping, intricate script.
Where chicanery, murder, melodrama, and an orange bag full of money swirl into an edge-of-your-seat thriller, Geylang is delicious in its plot twists, and harrowing in its socio-cultural cynicism.
Geylang is also produced by Kwong and stars Mark Lee, Sheila Sim, Shane Mardjuki, Gary Lau, and Patricia Lin. Production company mm2 Entertainment Pte Ltd is repping the film’s international sales.
Peep the trailer!
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