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Long Long Time Ago 2

Long Long Time Ago 2

May. 22, 2016 Singapore121 Min.
Your rating: 0
8.3 1,329 votes

Video trailer

Director

Jack Neo
Director

Cast

Aileen Tan isLim Zhao Di
Lim Zhao Di
Mark Lee isLim Ah Kun
Lim Ah Kun

Synopsis

Zhao Di takes over her family farm with the help of Ah Long after the 1969 floods. After the government started reclaiming land for development in 1977, licensed owners like Zhao Di are compensated but her brother accuses her of having an affair with Ah Long to get the money for himself. Meanwhile, Osman does not approve of his son playing in a rock band as he fears the negative influence, causing his son to run away from home. As for Ah Hee and Rani, they decide to get married but their traditional parents are against it.

Original titleLong Long Time Ago 2
IMDb Rating7.5 47 votes
TMDb Rating7 3 votes

(1) comment

  • moviexclusiveMarch 27, 2016Reply

    Jack Neo’s weaknesses as a storyteller shows, but this family drama set against Singapore’s early years is still a thoroughly engaging slice of uniquely Singaporean history

    Of late, Jack Neo’s stories have gotten longer, but in the case of
    ‘Long Long Time Ago’ at least, we can reassure you that it isn’t
    because he has gotten more long-winded.

    For the uninitiated, the two-part saga of the trials and tribulations
    of a family living through the early years of Singapore’s independence
    is Neo’s ode to a bygone era in Singapore’s history.

    Zhao Di (Aileen Tan) is the eldest daughter, gentle, restrained yet
    quietly resilient; while Ah Kun (Mark Lee) is her second brother, an
    opportunistic good-for-nothing ingrate who not only gambles his time
    away but is consistently getting himself and his family into trouble.
    Their conflict was the backbone of the story and character dynamics in
    the first movie, and comes to a boil here as greed takes hold of Ah
    Kun.

    The trigger here is the Government’s relocation of citizens from
    ‘kampungs’ to HDB flats, in order to free up land for national
    development. Along with that move comes the promise of a generous
    compensation package, depending on the amount of land that would be
    expropriated as well as the ‘activities’ on that land such as pig
    farming etc. Though he had never lifted a finger to help Zhao Di turn
    their barren front yard into a modest pig farm, Ah Kun demands a share
    of the compensation that would be given in exchange of the ‘pig
    farming’ licence, and even goes so far as to smear Zhao Di’s good name
    in order to get their family and extended relatives on his side.

    Like we’ve said about the first movie, Tan and Lee are some of the most
    seasoned local performers and continue to shine in their respective
    roles. The usually glamorous Tan deftly underplays her
    uncharacteristically subdued role with nuance and grace, never once
    stooping to hysterics to win her audience’s sympathy. On the other
    hand, Lee was born to play the brash, hot-headed lout, and it is to his
    credit that we end up loathing his character as much as we sympathise
    with Tan’s. Lee’s scenes with Tan are easily the most engaging in the
    whole film, and it is also in these scenes that Neo holds back the
    distractions (think: product placements) to allow these two excellent
    actors to communicate their characters’ frustrations, disappointments
    as well as, in the case of Ah Kun, remorse with absolute clarity.

    In contrast, the other narrative strands are understandably – but also
    regrettably – less fleshed out. Ah Hee’s interracial relationship and
    eventual marriage with Rani (Bharathi Rani) fares best relatively, but
    Neo treats the potentially controversial subject as comic relief (read:
    Rani happens to be former health inspector Shamugen’s (Silvarajoo
    Prakasam) daughter) than any serious-minded discourse on the possible
    tensions that could arise from differences in culture and language. Ah
    Long’s (Ryan Lian) budding romance for Zhao Di never quite goes
    anywhere, but the most severely underdeveloped subplot has to be
    Osman’s (Suhaimi Yusof) falling out with his teenage son Ahmad after
    the former smashes the latter’s guitar in a fit of anger.

    Juggling the sheer number of characters is no small feat, and
    inevitably some like Ah Kun’s wife (Charmaine Sei) or Osman’s wife
    (Nurijah Sahat) will not get much to do at all. Yet as much as one is
    willing to extend such concessions to the sprawling script by Neo and
    two of his regular screen writing collaborators Link Sng and Ivan Ho,
    it is no less lamentable that Wang Lei’s Si Shu and Osman are almost
    completely sidelined here, squandering what time and attention had been
    placed on developing their characters the first time round. Oh yes, Ah
    Kun’s resentment of Zhao Di’s modest successes is compellingly drawn,
    but every other detail feels a little undercooked to say the very
    least.

    If there is one consolation, it is that this second part doesn’t strain
    as much as its predecessor does in trying to fit the iconic moments in
    Singapore’s history into its narrative. Aside from the passing
    references to Wang Sa and Ya Fong’s comedy skits on local
    black-and-white TV, the only milestone which Neo flag-checks here is
    the relocation of ‘kampong’ dwellers into HDB flats, which in turn
    allows Neo the time and space to properly acknowledge its significance
    to the thousands of affected individuals – and we are not just talking
    about the thrill of riding up and down for the first time in a lift but
    also the drastic change in one’s living environment and livelihood.

    No other director has quite so ambitiously tried to capture such
    moments in Singapore’s fifty years of phenomenal change, and there is
    no denying the passion, conviction and commitment that Neo brings to
    the film as a whole, notwithstanding his persistent weaknesses as a
    storyteller. Indeed, Neo still cannot resist being didactic at the very
    end, but there is still a perfectly engrossing family drama to be
    enjoyed, complete with an exemplification of the oft-mentioned ‘kampong
    spirit’. ‘Long Long Time Ago 2’ brings Neo’s story of Singapore and
    Singaporeans to a stronger finish than we would have ever expected, and
    that alone is reason enough to get your family, your friends, your
    fellow Singaporeans, your fellow non-Singaporean residents to enjoy,
    appreciate and discover a uniquely Singaporean slice of history come
    alive.

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