The Blue Mansion: A Singapore film to watch

One part muder mystery, one part family drama, and one part corporate takeover saga, The Blue Mansion is one hundred percent captivating.

And the kicker? It’s a Singaporean film.

So, like the three coffins for the film’s one dead man’s funeral, you get three movies for the price of one. But, seriously now, there is a whole lot of other good reasons to not miss this film.

Centering on a number of perennial Singaporean favourites, The Blue Mansion follows the death of Singapore’s richest man, tycoon Wee Bak Chuan – the self-styled Pineapple King. As the two sons fight over the legacy of the family business, a murder probe is raised regarding the death. As the ghost of Wee Bak Chuan watches, events unfold and reveal dark secrets of children and family.

Chilling as it sounds, the film is more endearing than terrifying. As brother is pitted against brother, we also see the true side of the revered patriach, denounced, in not so many words, as “that heartless old bastard.” Yet, we also see attempts at reconciliation and overcoming hidden flaws.

The star in this film is not any particular character, but the family as a whole. We see exactly the role the respected, but also feared and hated patriach played in his family by observing the ramifications of his death. The brokeness that wealth gives rise to is revealed for all to see, and we simultaneously weep for and denounce all these tragically flawed people.

The film has its light moments too though. Watch out for Huzir Sulaiman as the uproriously funny Detective Subramaniam Suresh. Of note also are Adrian Pang, who slips right into the skin of younger brother Wee Teck Meng, anger-issues and all, as well as Patrick Teoh playing the indignant and highly beliveable patriach. Followers of Singapore TV will also recognise names such as Lim Kay Siu, Neo Swee Lin, and Tan Kheng Hua.

Without revealing too much, The Blue Mansion is a tight, well written and nicely delivered film. Viewers will be enthralled by the plight and struggles of thse super-rich and yet still so flawed characters. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the rich interplay between characters in this refreshingly good Singapore film. (instead of the usual insipid fare)

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