Movie Review: Faeryville
For wankers, lamers, and losers, rebellion is the only thing they know. This Inri Studio film, which spent 8 years in production, revolves around a trio of misfits dubbed “The Nobodies”. Poe (Lyon Sim), CK (Jae Leung), and Taurus (Farid Assalam) are dreamers with a knack for exploration and mischief with homemade stink bombs and having all manners of reckless fun.
The college’s fallen rebel, Belle (Tanya Graham) is swiftly introduced into the tale and she retains a sultry composure throughout. Similar to The Nobodies, she is an anarchist in her own right, but a house arrest and “counselling” sessions forced the freedom fighter into obedience. After all that she has been through, Belle is tired of fighting for what she believes in and only hopes to graduate in Faeryville.
Belle is definitely one of the prominent characters of the film, but Graham’s acting is rather lacklustre for the strength of the role. No doubt, she is charismatic for the part; but the lack of sufficient vitality in Belle is fairly disappointing, to say the least.
The plot thickens when transfer student Laer (Aaron Samuel Yong) joins The Nobodies. After befriending the misfit trio, Laer’s personal brand of anarchy and rebellion is inevitably made known to them. For a first-time actor, Laer is arguably the best-portrayed character in Faeryville. Whenever the angst-filled character comes on, eyes are glued to the big screen.
However, some scenes in Faeryville feel too much of a drag, particularly the ones between campus reporter Chloe (Jade Griffin) and Belle. The romantic links are weak: Chloe’s interest in Belle’s past seems to be a friendly gesture more than anything else. When the time comes for the (pretty long) smooch, it comes off as awkward instead.
Is it to prove the point that they have successfully challenged society’s freedom to love? Whatever it is, perhaps omitting those insignificant seconds could have landed the film a lighter censorship than its M18 rating.
The film concludes with the fall of the symbolic Faeryville statue, epitomized with the violent altercation between Belle and Laer on who was the culprit.
Thumbs up to Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Mass Communication alumnus Tzang though, for taking risks while directing Faeryville into a realm he can proudly call his own. The film’s soundtrack is equally impressive, with homegrown bands such as The Great Spy Experiment and In Each Hand A Cutlass lending their sounds to the film.
It is also fascinating to note that Faeryville pays homage to Tzang’s portfolio of works. The film follows the director’s unique film concept closely as it starts off with newspaper clippings of the death of the college’s ‘willing’ outcast, W. Ashe Faeke, which is ironically the promotional poster of his 2003 production titled e’TZAINES. Perhaps worshipping the death of his first film (featuring Tzang himself) on Faeryville is a subtle message left deliberately for his fans.
Unfortunately, while Faeryville presents a myriad of social themes to think about, the concepts of freedom and conspiracy discussed in the film are much too obscure for the layman to understand.
With an epic conceptualisation unlike other local films, we only wished that Faeryville had left us with a stronger message to remember it by.
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Release Date: 26 May 2015 (exclusively at Filmgarde Bugis+, only 5 screenings over a period of 2 weeks)
Runtime: 95 minutes
Censorship Rating: M18 – Coarse Language
Genre: Drama, Action, Adventure
Director: Tzang Merwyn Tong
Main Actors: Lyon Sim, Aaron Samuel Yong, Farid Assalam, Jae Leung, Tanya Graham, Jade Griffin.