I finally found the time to watch this local movie before it goes off. I liked Royston Tan’s previous musical movie 881. He has a knack of combining the simplest mundane everyday events with over the top dramatisation in a simple script. He reminds me of what my lecturer said plots – juxtaposition and causation. Taking two unrelated objects and find the conflation. In this case, Feng Fei Fei and carpark inspector.
Set in the soon to be demolished Dakota housing estate, the story centres around Fei Fei, who aspires to sing like the late singer Feng Fei Fei, famous for appearing on stage with hats. Our Fei Fei, as a parking inspector, also goes around in a hat. As carparks do away with coupons, replaced by electronic pricing, she finds herself joining a singing contest, hoping to win the top prize so as to pay for treatment for her demented father.
You can’t find another movie as localised as this one, with Rahima Rahim as a fellow carpark inspector, (more believable than her young Chinese crew) and a kopi boy rapping out orders of kopitiam drinks that only Singaporeans can understand.
You would be disappointed if you think the movie revolves around Feng Fei Fei’s repertoire of songs. There are only a few, performed brilliantly by lead actress Joi Chua.
A tad slow at times and quite predictable, the movie nevertheless has the signature touches of Royston Tan.
Watch it to support local art.