Glen Goei’s second film, in many years since much-loved “Forever Fever”, hides dramatic, performance and tonal flaws under the gorgeous façade of the Blue Mansion. Awkwardly shifting between comedy and Serious Drama, the script does not realise the comic potential of the premise when the death of Wee Bak Chuan reunites the family at the patriarch’s funeral. Also, expected familial secrets and lies are not revealed to the appropriate characters for maximum dramatic (or comic) effect, leaving much satisfaction to be desired. The giving of the story’s biggest revelation to an already deceased character seems futile, and is made a fatal mistake when it has practically no effect on the living, leaving me wondering, truly, why should I care for these characters? The final nail in the coffin is the distractingly bad intonation of the dialogue. Why does everyone end on a higher tone for every sentence? No excuses of “oh, it’s a theatrical put-on”, please. “The Blue Mansion” is architecture built on sand.
2 thoughts on “The Blue Mansion (2009)”
alright, you made your points, if only 4 of them in total. even so, pardon my curiosity, i still want to see it, since so much has been said about its merits elsewhere – and besides, it’s Glen Goei’s new fim! i know you are strict to the brink of cruelty, but i am esp. curious to learn about those “tonal flaws”. what exactly do you have in mind? could you please qualify because it is a very intriguing comment to make, i think.
I think tone is one of the hardest things to control. In the film, shifts from serious drama to comical scenes feel uncomfortable. In turn, I do not know when to take the drama bits seriously and when to laugh. I become indifferent.
I’m not saying it’s unachievable – it’s just tough to pull off.