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Netflix Singapore presents a bank of local films and series like Growing Up, Homerun, The Maid, Shirkers, and more

Netflix Singapore presents a bank of local films and series like Growing Up, Homerun, The Maid, Shirkers, and more

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Text: Yong Le Man

Editor: Janice Sim


No parade? No problem. While National Day celebrations won't proceed like previous years, with the global pandemic looming in the background, we've found plenty of alternatives to keep our nation together and ourselves thoroughly entertained. For starters, Red Lions will be making their jumps in the heartlands to show their support for our frontline workers, a mobile column to cover a record 200km this year, and lastly, Nathan Hartono's heart-warming acoustic National Day track for the cherry on top. But if all of the above still can't sate your insatiable thirst for patriotism, Netflix Singapore has got you covered.

Over the course of the next few months, Netflix will be rolling out a whopping 106 local-made films and series, for members to enjoy this National Day and beyond. Additionally for a limited time and only in Singapore, viewers will see a variety of fun Sing-lish renditions of their favourite Netflix categories, like Could Have Happened in Yishun for Horror, and Will You Get a BTO With Me for Romance.

If you're picky like us, or simply don't have the time or luxury to stream all 106 films and series — here's our list of must-watches, as well as the titles that aren't worth the eyeballs.

HIT:
The Maid

With the Hungry Ghost Festival set to begin in a month, The Maid is the perfect tandem piece — an award-winning film released in 2005 detailing a maid's nightmarish visions about the horrible fate of the family's previous maid. We can still remember the eerie sound effects a decade on, so major props to the sound department.

MISS:
Revenge of the Pontianak

Any Asian should know this: a pontianak is a female vampire ghost of a woman who had died during pregnancy or childbirth. Well, Revenge of the Pontianak is quite the generic retelling of a classic Southeast Asian folklore.

Netflix Singapore presents a bank of local films and series like Growing Up, Homerun, The Maid, Shirkers, and more (фото 1)

HIT:
Shirkers

A multifaceted life story — weaving in many unbelievable and amazingly complex characters and themes, which is something that you wouldn't typically find in a documentary. Director Sandi Tan definitely hits the ball out of the park with Shirkers.

Netflix Singapore presents a bank of local films and series like Growing Up, Homerun, The Maid, Shirkers, and more (фото 2)

MISS:
Singapore Social

Even though it does succeed in representing a more diverse cast of Asians for a Singaporean docuseries, this recent release isn't accurate is portraying Singapore for what it is. A clear misrepresentation of Singaporean culture and identity with cringy one-liners that we can still remember..

HIT:
Homerun

When Jack Neo isn't busy being Liang Popo or directing comedies, he gets down to business. Enjoy this Singaporean remake of Majid Majidi's 1998 Oscar-nominated classic, Children of Heaven.

Netflix Singapore presents a bank of local films and series like Growing Up, Homerun, The Maid, Shirkers, and more (фото 3)

MISS
It's a Great, Great World

Set in the legendary Great World Amusement Park, the movie featured heavy work on dialects on an ensemble cast who was not at all familiar with speaking these dialects. A great idea but not so greatly executed.

HIT:
Growing Up

Save for the Gen Z, Growing Up is a Singaporean classic that we all grew up loving. A perfect watch with your family that is sure to pull back nostalgia and sentimentality.

MISS:
The Golden Path

The Golden Path pales in comparison to Growing Up as it doesn't make efforts to do anything out of the ordinary — i.e. your typical local drama.

HIT:
Liang Popo The Movie

The cornerstone of Singaporean comedy — Jack Neo dons his white ponytail to bring you non-stop humour and giggles for his performance as a restless grandmother thrown into the criminal underworld.

MISS:
Cow eating Tender Grass

A local comedy based on a Mandarin phrase “老牛吃嫩草”, an euphemism for sugar daddy, you'll find set-ups without punchlines and vice versa. A hard-skip.

HIT:
I Not Stupid

Its satirical take on the Singapore education system way back in 2003 led to educational reforms and sparked parlimentary debates. This is certainly another one of Jack Neo's greatest hits.

Netflix Singapore presents a bank of local films and series like Growing Up, Homerun, The Maid, Shirkers, and more (фото 4)

MISS:
12 Storeys

12 Storeys happens to be a little too all over the place and disjointed. That coupled with slow pacing and lacklustre humour...

HIT:
Ilo Ilo

Ilo Ilo details the relationship between a child and his maid during the turbulent times of the Asian Financial Crisis. The only Singaporean film to win a Camera d'Or award — this deceptively simple movie is a must-watch that hits close to home.

Netflix Singapore presents a bank of local films and series like Growing Up, Homerun, The Maid, Shirkers, and more (фото 5)

MISS:
Singapore Dreaming

While this film suceeds in its technical aspects — cinematography and reliability, it falls into a category of the unsuccessful pursuit of heartlanders to reach the upper echelons of material wealth. A category that is pretty saturated and overdone.

HIT:
Best of Phua Chu Kang

The best in Singapore, JB, and some say Batam, you can't call yourself Singaporean if you haven't heard of Phua Chu Kang. Relive Gurmit Singh's iconic performance and portrayal of a contractor, that is sure to bring non-stop giggles.

Netflix Singapore presents a bank of local films and series like Growing Up, Homerun, The Maid, Shirkers, and more (фото 6)

MISS:
Just Follow Law

Despite stellar performances by lead actors Gurmit Singh and Joanne Peh, as well as a breakout performance by David Bala for his portrayal of Muthu, this soul-switching film does little in terms of originality and humour.

HIT:
Best of The Noose

The first (and only thus far) of its kind in Singapore, this Emmy-nominated news satirical series opened up the conversation for political and social issues in Singapore — whilst keeping it light-hearted and palatable.

Netflix Singapore presents a bank of local films and series like Growing Up, Homerun, The Maid, Shirkers, and more (фото 7)

MISS:
King of Mahjong

Your typical Chinese New Year film - King of Mahjong comes across as a failed attempt to reach God Of Gamblers/Stephen Chow levels of highs and excitement. Watch this if you're easily entertained.

HIT:
The Unbeatables I

One of the few Singaporean dramas with a gambling theme — it does a decent job in recreating the allure and charm of gambling and family drama while setting up the pre-cursor for heated debates in Singapore about the building of integrated resorts.

Netflix Singapore presents a bank of local films and series like Growing Up, Homerun, The Maid, Shirkers, and more (фото 8)

MISS:
The Unbeatables II & III

It was thanks to the popularity of the first season that led to the production of two more seasons, which in our opinion were too cliche and still trying to milk a theme and message that has already been told.

HIT:
The Leap Years

An interesting, romantic Singaporean take of an obscure Irish leap year custom, The Leap Years is a heartfelt and feel-good movie starring Wong Li Lin and Thai actor Ananda Everingham (from Shutter).

MISS:
Forever

A film that attempts to be a romantic-comedy, Forever certainly isn't one of director's Wee Li Lin's finest, paling in comparison to her 2011 feature Gone Shopping.

For more shows to catch this month, click here.

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