FILM REVIEW: We Were The Best

31 January 2019


FILM REVIEW: We Were The Best


A group of high school graduates decide to record their friendship in a time capsule. When these BFFs decide to embark on a journey, tragedy happens. And things will never be the same again.

Director: Tan Ce Ding
Year: 2014
Cast: Candy Lee, Pauline Tan, Joseph Germani, Fahad Iman
Language: Mandarin, English
Runtime: 14min

Review by Jean Wong

Yet another charming tale of a group of friends, We Were The Best (2014) is a sentimental look into the past that evokes nostalgia for our own friendships. The film successfully and authentically crafts the friendship that makes up the backbone of the film and through this delivers an emotionally engaging story.

Director Tan Ce Ding cleverly makes use of handheld footage sporadically but strategically placed throughout the film. As our protagonists bring along a camcorder on their road trip, it serves as a medium in which information is relayed to us in a personal way. We Were The Best uses such vlog-esque footage to introduce the characters to us as they embark on their road trip, which allows the raw and unedited side of the friendship to filter through.

The music score for this short film is particularly well curated to complement the highs and lows that each scene calls for. This includes the long drive where the music in the background accompanied the four friends’ hearty chats and laid-back atmosphere. As Yoke Mun (Candy Lee) starts recording her time capsule, which we are privy to via the camcorder, the scene morphs into a short montage of their road trip. This is perhaps one of the key scenes in the film as the music accompanying the montage begins to adopt a melancholic tone, stirring up ominous feelings in the viewer.

As the film becomes a myriad of time capsule recordings, montages of the road trip, and scenes in the present, voices from the time capsule recordings play in the background. This skilful editing intensifies the feelings of sorrow as the viewer attempts to reconcile the light-hearted tone with the approaching tragedy.

We Were The Best deals with both pain and hope amidst a friendship that seems that it would withstand all. Alongside a touch of nostalgia, this bittersweet film would move viewers to develop a deeper appreciation for their friends.

Watch We Were The Best (2014) here.

Contemplative empath who sees wonder in the curious world. Has a habit of hiding behind books and occasionally dabbles in games, Netflix and YouTube. Is permanently attached to bubble tea.