The story spans from 1965 to the early 1970s. Heavily pregnant Zhao Di, the unwanted second wife of an older man, was chased out by her husband's family and forced to return to her own family. She gave birth to a pair of twins, Shun Fatt and Su-mei. As Su-mei had two moles on her face, which was said to be bad luck, she decided to give her up due to the pressure of wanting to build a better life for the rest of her family. Her father, under the advice of a match-maker, married her off to a coffee shop owner Xiao Qie, but after his unfortunate death, she was chased out the door with five young children to look after. With Zhao Di's indomitable spirit, and with the help of her family, they went through adversities, witnessed the changes through the years, and accompanied every step of the nation`s growth in its early years.
- Aileen Tan as Lim Zhao Di
- Mark Lee as Lim Ah Kun, Zhao Di's younger brother
- Wang Lei as Si Shu, Zhao Di's father
- Ng Suan Loi as Ah Ma, Zhao Di's mother
- Benjamin Tan as Lim Ah Hee, Zhao Di's younger brother who is among the first batch of National Servicemen
- Yan Li Xuan as young Su Ting, Zhao Di's eldest daughter
- Toh Xin Hui as TBA, Zhao Di's second daughter
- Tiffany Sia as TBA, Zhao Di's third daughter
- Charmaine Sei as Ah Feng, Ah Kun's wife
- Ryan Lian as Ah Long, a gangster
- Suhaimi Yusof as Osman, a Malay food seller
- Nurijah binte Sahat as Fatimah, Osman's wife
- Silvarajoo Prakasam as Shamugen, a hawker inspector turned People’s Association officer
- Bharati Rani as Rani
Undeniably one of the best movie by Director Jack Neo so far. Those who have live in the 1960s era, will remember the kampong life, 1969 rumour of clash between the Malay and Chinese, gangster who asked for protection money and the unlicensed hawker who pendal in the market.
The movie also try to show unequal social status between man and woman. The movie succeeded in giving the audience a piece of the old Singapore in a storytelling approach. Those who remember and those who have not experience this era, will be able to bring back both memories and new knowledge of the past Singapore.
The set was shot in Ipoh in an actual kampong setting. Almost at the end of the movie, somehow I started to feel very touched both by the theme song and the flashes of old photos. Somehow it relates to my parents living in that era. The yellow top taxi with wind-up glass window, the big gas tank somewhere along Lavender street in the opening scene all add into my memories of the old Singapore that we live in. It was tough in those days as compared to what we have today.
The movie also focus on the family life with the men dominating the family. The women usually suffer in silence and help to keep the family together. There are also the superstitious belief that exist in family in that era. Giving up children for adoption so that life can be much better for the rest of the family. Birth control is totally non existence. The movie also focus on racial harmony among the different races in Singapore.
It is not just any movie, it is a movie that document our Singapore history. There will be a part 2 that will be showing in March 2016. The movie will be screening in cinema from 4 Feb 2016.
Together with the latest 3D immersive sound technology, Auro 11.1 by Barco, somehow it is as close as experiencing the real thing ( sound effect ).
I shall rate this movie at 4 / 5.
Well, I was fortunate to be able to have a photo taken with the Director Jack Neo.
Movie Road Show
The Making of Long Long Time Ago