1965 – A Very Quick Review

1965 launched in Singapore a few weeks ago, and it’s probably not received the attention it thought it would get.

I tell you why.

If you had watched the trailer for 1965 you’d probably have thought this film probably has something to do with our independence (the title is 1965 for goodness sake). About 15 minutes through the movie you realise that this was a lie to get you to buy a ticket.

Lim Kay Tong plays Lee Kuan Yew, it’s a good fit. It was even hyped up quite a bit in the media, if you look at the posters and pictures from the movie, you’d notice Lim Kay Tong’s face everywhere. His face literally takes up the most space in the poster. You’d expect to see lot’s of him – well you won’t (Feelings were really cheated).


The movie has elements of independence, including the iconic scene of separation from Malaysia and Lee Kuan Yew showing a more emotional side to him in front of cameras. That’s about the only thing Lim Kay Tong does in the movie. He also shakes a few extra’s hands and rides atop a lorry, classic Lee Kuan Yew.


Moving on, the movie is actually based on the race riots that plagued Singapore in 1965. Qi Yuwu is the main lead in this film. He plays a hardened police officer that doesn’t think much of his Malay colleagues. While Sezairi plays the more affable rookie police officer that helps to bridge the divide between the two races (award winning plot if this was the early 90s).


The entire movie looks like it was filmed entirely in one location, from recollection there are only about 4 or 5 distinctly different locations, a real visual treat. Qi Yuwu while a lauded Channel 8 actor struggles when he speaks anything else that isn’t Mandarin or Cantonese. His acting revolves around the same stoic facial expressions he probably gives in most of his dramas on Channel 8 (such range).


I struggled to find for a saving grace throughout the movie. Joanne Peh as eye candy did help, although you don’t get to see nearly enough of her throughout the movie. The addition of veteran Deanna Yusoff to the cast did bring some experience and possibly the best acting throughout the two or odd so hours (again you also won’t see too much of her).


In all 1965 promised you Lee Kuan Yew but gave you Inspector Cheng (Qi Yuwu). So unless you’re a big fan of Qi Yuwu we’d suggest you wait for the DVD or your “friend” happens across the leaked film online then you watch.

There were people that actually walked out at different points throughout the movie.



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