Posted by: koolcampus | February 10, 2010

SINGAPORE DRAMA SERIES “TOGETHER” 当我们同在一起 leads the WAY with a COMPETENT CAST.

DRAMA REVIEW

“TOGETHER” is touted as SINGAPORE MEDIACORP’s YEAR END-CUM-ANNIVERSARY PRODUCTION FOR 2009.

You will be more than pleasantly amazed.

We are treated to a heartwarming tale of male bonding and female camaraderie,

the trials and tribulations of 3 girls falling in love with the same guy, and yet remain as close chums,

plus a 30-year roller coaster ride of memorable events taking you through the economic and political storms of the 60s where SINGAPORE was going through a period of radical changes.

For the better.

If you are a baby boomer, it’s a definite stroll down memory lane laces with memories of this thing called national service that was imposed on the guys way back then,

You also learn that SINGAPORE started printing its own currency in the 60s, the horrific oil crisis that hit the doldrums in the 70s, the horror when the stock market crashed in the 70s and more ……

The story centers on 3 young guys and 3 nubile gals and their different families residing in NORTH BRIDGE ROAD which over the years,had lost the “old feel” of the 60s due to modernization …..

so the principal cast and crew all left by coaches across the Singapore-Johor Causeway for location shooting  in MALACCA and IPOH to authenticate that “old world charm”.

And did this move measure up?

YES, special mention must be accorded to the excellent work put in by the LOCATION MANAGERS, WARDROBE PEOPLE, HAIR and MAKE-UP STYLISTS who were responsible for creating the retro “feel” of the 60s. They did a meticulous job to bring us the old forgotten shop houses and streets, the go-go attire with bell bottoms, the beehive hairdos for the ladies and the Brylcreem slicked hairstyles for the guys.

So there!

It’s a job well done.

Notwithstanding the superb cast that lends credence to the entire story.

Here’s what I feel, from the other side of the fence as a fellow writer/producer, far away from SINGAPORE:

KUDOS to the CASTING PEOPLE for assembling a personable cast where each and everyone did his or her best to weave heart-wrenching scenes that evoke indelible memories of a long gone era.

Let me pay tribute to some of the cast who had put in painstaking performances:

ELVIN NG, who, in his previous roles had been dubiously criticized for stiff acting has made a 360 degree roundabout turn and delivers a BEST ACTOR performance as a bumbling nitwit with a strong sense of friendship who would do anything for the girl he loves.

And love he did ….. not only buffing himself in the acting department, but the fight sequences as well.

Watch ELVIN NG as he takes us to the boxing ring where he delivers death-defying kicks and blows a la ONG BAK style that would have made TONY JAA sit up and take notice.

I cannot recall any actor in the Singapore MediaCorp stable who can display his prowess as a perilous fighter. Here’s one action star in the making.

Well done, ELVIN!

On the female side, there is this lovely young beautiful thing called EELYN KOK, whom we’d love to hate as she is the pivotal focus in the story that shapes the lives of her friends around her.

But hate we cannot as she delivers a flawless performance as a spoilt, simple-minded damsel with her bimbo head in the clouds who “dares” to love and hate the person she adores.

Why wasn’t one of the 7 princesses anyway?

She has definitely come a long way, holding her fort now as leading actress status and is a lot better than some of them, go guess who!

JEANETTE AW has always been good and may garner an award, but she’s pretty much the same selfless maiden that she was, in THE LITTLE NONYA.

Watch another rising star ZHANG ZHEN HUAN who played JEANETTE’s younger brother, a timid mouse who’s forever afraid, an introvert who loves quietly  and is a sad victim of circumstances.

He provides squealish relief when he cross-dresses as an “ah qua” (transvestite) to help pay off his father’s gambling debts.

Veteran actor WANG YUQING puts in a memorable performance as the wimpish father, the street performer who peddles medicine for a living, who whiles his time gambling away his life, who suddenly has this glimmer of pride for his dimwit son to marry into a wealthy family, only to have all hopes dashed when his son and his in-laws shun him. He dies, sadly, admonishing us what filial piety should all be about.

And HONG HUI FANG as the demeaning, bitchy landlady ….  Nothing escapes her, and this is what we call real acting.

There’s also ZHENG GER PING, who have us in stitches when he adorns an effeminate Elvis Presely persona to play this comely role.

Old wine mellows with age, hah.

One significant flaw though.

Is it funny at all to have EELYN KOK in one stinking scene taking a dump and uses newspaper to wipe her butt?

Or having DAI YANG TIAN and ELVIN NG spicing their dialogue using words splattering with SHIT and FART?

We are not prudish, but there’re more savory ways to inject humor.

Too much is an overkill.

Other than those, “TOGETHER” is a drama series that has a rare fascination and power, thanks to the content development writers at the station.

It is designed to startle and entertain.

And that for sure, IT DOES!

Now hear the THEME SONG and watch THE TRAILER of “TOGETHER”.



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