Mad About English (2008)
Director: Lian Pek
Plot: The film follows the inspiring and heart-warming efforts of a city preparing to host the world by learning a once-forbidden tongue.
IN RETROSPECT (Spoilers: NO)
Mad About English is one of two local documentaries showing in theaters this early August, with the other being A Month of Hungry Ghosts. This month will feature a small bundle of homegrown works which includes Jack Neo's Money No Enough 2, the two abovementioned documentaries, the highly anticipated Royston Tan musical 12 Lotus, and a sport documentary entitled Kallang Roar.
It is by no coincidence that most of these films are released during the month of our nation's birthday because I believe that since the turn of the century,
Mad About English is filmed mostly in
The points of reference in the film are a cab driver, a Western 'grammar cop', an old female physician, an aged male volunteer, and a teacher-motivator. Viewers will get to see how these people are coping with learning a new language, especially in their sunset years. Their ability to speak good and basic English is indeed a remarkable and inspiring thing
Mad About English unfortunately suffers from a sub-standard production. It looks more like a film student's project than one that comes out of a professional studio. It is slightly unpolished and would have been more appealing with a decent creative makeover. Thankfully, there’s enough satiable content to digest which is essential in a genre like this.
Communication is very important, and it is especially crucial when we are meeting people from a foreign land. That's not all. Our body language and facial expression are also decisive in determining a person's image and attitude. Lian Pek's film boldly discusses these pointers, packaging it in a documentary that is both engaging and hilarious. Pity about the quality of the production though.
GRADE: B- (7/10 or 3 stars)
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