1965 Movie Review

1965 Movie Review

Lim Kay Tong as the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew in '1965' movie.



Lim Kay Tong as the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew in '1965' movie.

1965 is not a Lee Kuan Yew biopic.

Set in post-war Singapore, the film tells the story of how easily outsiders can ruin a diverse community when there is distrust. The premise for the movie was set after the events of Konfrontasi, which eventually led to Singapore’s separation from Malaysia in 1965.

Tip: In case you didn’t pay much attention in History class, read up a bit on Konfrontasi, before catching this movie!

A family meal scene with Qi Yuwu and James Seah.



A family meal scene with Qi Yuwu and James Seah. 

1965 mainly focused on a community of people from various ethnic backgrounds living together in Singapore during this hard time. With little reference to what went on outside the main story, audiences can still expect a riveting plot offering a closer look at what life was like back in those days.

Witness the drama brewing like a storm.



Witness the drama brewing like a storm. 

The main cast is led by Qi Yuwu, Joanne Peh, James Seah, Deanna Yusoff, Lim Kay Tong and Singapore Idol winner (season 3), Sezairi Sazali, in his film debut. Expect nothing short of the best out of veteran actor, Lim Kay Tong, in his portrayal as Singapore’s founding father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Vintage sets at Infinite Studios' soundstages depicting 60s Singapore.



Vintage sets at Infinite Studios' soundstages depicting 60s Singapore. 

Another reason to watch 1965 is the nostalgia factor. The film was mostly filmed in Batam, Indonesia – at Infinite Studios’ soundstages and in various locations around the island. The old shophouses, streets and vintage shop banners will immediately transport audiences back to the past. However, these vintage sets, like the bustling town market, may look well-designed but doesn’t seem realistic enough. Yet, it still invokes a sense of nostalgia, especially for older viewers.

Also, look out for era-appropriate props like the F&N soft drink glass bottles and Magnolia milk in pyramid-shaped Tetra Paks throughout the movie!

The year 1965 is synonymous with 'Merdeka', meaning 'independence', for Singapore.



The year 1965 is synonymous with 'Merdeka', meaning 'independence', for Singapore. 

While the main plot is generally well-written with a good amount of drama, action and suspense, the overall film feels inconclusive. Despite co-director Daniel Yun claiming that it’s not a docu-drama, the ending seemed like one. Perhaps the intention was to dedicate to the memory of the late Mr Lee.

The main plot may be strong but unfortunately, the story progression failed to properly string together everything else with it so it all just fell a little flat.

*All photos, including overview, sourced from Blue3 Pictures and mm2 Entertainment.

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Read about CPT (Ret) Shamsudin’s first-hand account when he got posted to Sabah during Konfrontasi!

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