Movie review: That Girl in Pinafore

SINGAPORE - I really wanted to like local director Chai Yee Wei's coming-of-age drama and ode to the xinyao (Mandarin folk music) movement of bygone years.

After all, having spent my teen years in the 1990s, I'm familiar with several of the Liang Wenfu-penned tunes in the film.

But after nearly two hours, it hit me that simply boasting a string of catchy, nostalgic tunes does not make a movie superb.

The story revolves around a bunch of youngsters' efforts to bring business back to a struggling folk music pub - there's a subplot where school dropout Jiaming (Daren Tan) and rich kid May (Julie Tan) fall in love.

As a full-length feature, it's ultimately weighed down by melodramatic cliches and cringe-worthy acting, courtesy of the relatively unknown supporting cast.

Rating: 2.5/5

- Tan Kee Yun


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