Female Games – Review
FEMALE GAMES is a fiercely unsentimental film that follows two naÃƒ¯ve Singaporean models’ search for job prospects in Kuala Lumpur. The camera trails the action in a detached manner, empowering the camera to possess and express its own consciousness. It is a pitiless yet tragically truthful story about the workings of the female mind. In its telling, it reveals the sheer impact that insecurities can have on friendships and relationships.
This contemporary feature film directed by Kan Lume, treads boldly on the theme of female homosexuality. Kan Lume is no stranger to challenging boundaries. His second feature SOLOS revolved around the theme of male homosexuality, winning the Premio Nuovi Sguardi Award at Torino GLBT Film Festival.
THE ART OF FLIRTING, picked up an award as well, in the category of Best ASEAN Feature at the Malaysian Video Awards 2005, whilst DREAMS FROM A THIRD WORLD won the MovieMax Award at Cinema Digital Seoul 2008. Thus, Kan Lume broaching the subject of lesbianism and nudity in FEMALE GAMES is not at all surprising, and in fact, predictable.
With a lack of ceremony and simplistic bedroom setting, Kan Lume opens the film with Alexia (Evelyn Maria Ng) speaking her honest thoughts straight to the camera. Gradually along with the models’ overseas experience and Alexia’s genuine confessions from her heart, you slowly but surely find the meaning in Alexia’s words.
Through naturalistic conversations, complemented by the unpolished house setting of the casting agent Dean and the poignant ambience of the temple the models visited, the film takes on a real life element above aesthetic purposes.
The film gets off to a quiet start, progressively delving deeper into the insecurities of the models that eventually destroy their friendship. The long sustained takes throughout the film encapsulates the climatic progression from friendship to jealousy to romantic relationship. The slow and steady pace of the film sets you up for an unsuspecting ladies’ brawl.
At first glance, Alexia seems to be the innocuous harmless friend and Sandra the desperate jealous competitor, vying for the attention of the casting agent. Yet strangely, it was the series of unfortunate events, which they encounter in Kuala Lumpur, that brought them together to deal with reality and start anew via throwing away bad luck along with their old belongings. The camera trails their temple visit with minimal dialogue, captivating a particularly heart-warming scene of friendship after a sour catfight.
All in all, FEMALE GAMES develops at an undeniably slow speed only to exhibit the best of the story at the end of the film. I must say, the catfight between Alexia and Sandra is a scene absolutely memorable and cannot be missed. Its realistic hurling of names, clawing and scratching makes the wait all worthwhile. FEMALE GAMES portrays the harsh reality and the vulnerability of models in the industry, with an unpredictable ending that throws you off your feet.
Female Games will be having its world premiere right here in Sinema Old School on the 22nd of July 2009. For more information, visit our website or call us at 6336-9707.