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Men in WhiteMovie Review
by Georgette Tan
Genre: Comedy / Drama
Director: Kelvin Tong
Language: Mandarin / Cantonese / English
Cast: Shaun Chen, Ling Lee, Alice Lim, Ben Yeung, Xavier Teo, David Aw.
Singapore's "Men in White" is in the same genre as "Zombi Kampung Pisang" - slapstick comedy where nobody really gets hurt. The premises are slightly different though, taking place on the ghost side of any given horror story.
We meet a central cast of five ghosts who share an empty flat - national reserve badminton player Ah Boon (Shaun Chen), bad-tempered Wan Yi (Ling Lee), elderly housewife Madam Wong (Alice Lim) and hip-hop rappers Hip (Xavier Teo) and Hop (Ben Yeung).
Their story is told from the viewpoint of cameraman ghost Sunny, who records their lives reality-TV-style. (This is why the ghosts talk to the camera a lot.)
The first half of the movie introduces us to the characters and demystifies the lives of ghosts in a documentary style Q&A. Do ghosts eat? Do they sleep? Can ghosts fall in love? What do they do all day?
We learn from Hip & Hop that the obsessive Ah Boon was flattened by a cement truck, Wan Yi choked to death on a fishball, and Madam Wong literally worked herself to death.
Ah Boon now spends his time helping humans (the man he stops from committing suicide comes back as part of the plot in the second half of the movie). Wan Yi preys around food courts to punish rude people. Madam Wong still goes back to her son's house to do the housework because their maid is too lazy.
Trouble starts when a newly-dead photographer (David Aw) joins them and upsets the dynamics of the group, especially with Ah Boon, who is the unofficial leader of the family. When a stereotypically gay tenant buys the unit they live in, they face eviction.
There are some pretty funny moments in there, and some parts where it'll really depend on what sort of mood you were in when you walked into the cinema. Some people love it and others hate it. There are also three music videos courtesy of Hip and Hop.
One of my favorite characters is the psychotic Ah Beng ghost who routinely kidnaps people who stare at him.
This is a "leave your brains at the door" flick, with a few jokes you'll only truly get if you're familiar with Singapore or Asian culture.
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