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Director: Glen Goei
Length: 107 mins
Date of release: 22nd October, 2009
Rating: NC16 (some nudity)
DVD Available at: http://thebluemansion.com and Kinokuniya Bookstores
A pineapple tycoon and king, Wee Bak Chuan (Patrick Teoh) mysteriously dies and returns as spirit trying to identify the cause of his death. He begins by tracking down the secret lives of his three children: two sons and a daughter. After his death his wife Wee Siok Lin (Louisa Chong) continues to control the family in making the final decision.
The eldest son is Wee Teck Liang (Lim Kay Siu) who has been forced by his father to take over his business empire but he prefers to live out on his own free will. He is married to Wee Mei Yi (Emma Yong) who bore him two children and later dies. One shocking revelation reveals Teck Liang used to be gay and continues to be so even until he remarries for the second time.
The second son is Wee Teck Meng (Adrian Pang) who has ambitious hope to take over the family’s business empire one day but not given the opportunity by his father, as in Chinese tradition the eldest son is the automatic heir. Teck Meng is married to Veronica (Tan Kheng Hua) but the marriage turns out to be a disaster until he needs to find a mistress (Chermaine Ang) from China.
The third child is the only daughter of the family, Wee Pei Shan (Neo Swee Lin). She had previously failed in a relationship with an Indian boyfriend, Raj (Himanshu Bhatt) as her family was against their relationship. Pei Shan used to be a dedicated and holy Christian; however, after this incident she turns to alcohol to heal her broken heart and remains single.
Bak Chuan’s death prompted two police investigators, Inspector Suresh Maniam (Huzir Sulaiman) and his assistant Tan Kok Leong (Steve Yap) to visit the family’s mansion to investigate the real cause of his death. Did he die from heart attack or from murder? If he has been murdered who killed him and why?
The official website of The Blue Mansion:
With Singapore theatre prices going through the roof these days, here is your best chance to watch Singapore’s finest theatre actors all under one roof for just S$9. The roof, in this case, belongs to the majestic blue Cheong Fatt Tze mansion in Penang – an architectural monument in Malaysia, and now the titular star of a whodunit movie.
Here is where the old tycoon Wee Bak Chuan (Patrick Teoh) lives – or rather, used to live. Mr Wee is now dead. But his soul lingers in the house, trying to solve the mystery of his own untimely demise. None of his three children (Lim Kay Siu, Neo Swee Lin and Adrian Pang) were particularly fond of him, so all become natural suspects to his murder.
Written by former political journalist Ken Kwek and directed by Glen Goei, The Blue Mansion is a classy and clever murder-mystery with some extraordinarily good performances. But what is quickly turning into the talk of town is speculation that the film is about the Lee family.
Netizens draw parallels between Wee Bak Chuan and Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew. They even claim that Wee’s three children share traits with Mr Lee’s own children. Whether these parallels are deliberate or coincidental, only the filmmakers would know. But there’s no denying how powerfully layered a satire it becomes because of them.
The Blue Mansion is easily the must-watch of the week.
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