Review: The Leap Years
Director Jean Yeo’s debut feature is a shining example of a film done right. It all started with a strong and simple love story adapted from the well-known author Catherine Lim’s novella by proper scriptwriters into the well-paced treat that is The Leap Years.
The film follows Li-Ann, a leap year baby through a period of 16 years, or 4 leap years and centres mostly on the days leading up to her birthday. Potrayed brilliantly by the charming Wong Li-lin, the character of Li-Ann was a likeable romantic who chances upon Jeremy (Ananda Everingham) at a cafe one day and blind-dates him using the Irish tradition about 29th February, which allows a woman to propose a date to a man.
They promise to meet every leap year, and from there the film throws at its characters every cliche plot point, including the long-suffering friend, K.S (Qi Yuwu) who has long harboured feelings for Li-Ann but eventually gives up and move on. Li-Ann herself too moves on and… I probably shouldn’t spoil this for you, but if you want to know more behind-the-scenery, check out our exclusive interview!
Interweaved with Li-Lin’s scenes were Joan Chen, who narrates the story (the voice is actually of Beatrice Chia’s) from the future, while shot strangely blurry, fitted nicely into the narrative flow of the movie.
The Leap Years is a typical true blue romantic flick that borrows from the strength of Catherine Lim’s story, and despite the numerous cliches about having love and lost, Singapore’s first English-language movie is a well-put together film that has high production values and visual appeal (thanks to Hong Kong DOP Henry Chung), and a wall-to-wall carpet of Corrine May as soundtrack which serves only to add to its long list of selling points.
The Leap Years opens today in cinemas islandwide.