TIFF 2016 Movie Review: APPRENTICE (Singapore/Fr/HK/Germ/Qatar) ***

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

apprentice_posterAPPRENTICE (Singapore/Fr/HK/Germ/Qatar) ***
Directed by Boo Junfen

Starring: Firdaus Rahman, Wan Hanafi Su, Mastura Ahmad

Review by Gilbert Seah

Singapore is not a country known for its films. When I immigrated from Singapore in 1984, there was no film industry and no feature films on record. TIFF is the only chance I get to watch films from my birthplace and the films have been consistent in quality – to my pride.

APPRENTICE is the second film by Boo which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, the first one being the excellent SANDCASTLE which I had seen here at TIFF years back. APPRENTICE is a family drama of another kind and the film is again one about the search of identity.

Correctional officer Aiman (played by a brooding Fir Rahman) is ready to do everything it takes to be transferred to the death ward of Singapore’s highest-security prison. His ambition to become apprentice to chief executioner Rahim (Wan Hanafi Su) is not only professional; it’s born of Aiman’s unspeakable desire to reconnect with a past that haunts him. (Airman’s father was executed by Rahim).

Airman finally gets his wishes as the film’s drama reaches its climatic pitch. A slow burning but effective and absorbing drama shot in both English and Malay with a dose of Mandarin.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxY3zZCqeTw

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