Michael Yuri Sevilleno
The whole movie is full of similes and metaphors - mostly directly injected in dialogue - that pertain to the country's government and its people. For around two hours, we are given a peek, a good peek, at one of Asia's well-known nations. At the same time, neighboring countries may recognize a thing or two about Singapore that resembles a thing or two about themselves. Strictly speaking, the story is about and narrated by Terry (Huang Po-Ju), a little rich boy who could be so obedient to an annoying fault. Actually, the story revolves not only around Terry, but also around poor toughie Boon Hock (Joshua Ang) and misunderstood artist Kok Pin (Shawn Lee). Well, around them and their parents, to be more exact. The adults have their own sub-plots that cannot be simply ignored. Each of the boys belong to section EM3 where all the kids perceived as lazy, troublesome and dumb always end up and are considered hopeless future adults. The parents, on the other hand, basically play the part of society and government. Special focus is on Singaporean education, both in school and in society. I found I.N.S. simple, direct, and effective in communicating the message. As a non-Singaporean, I cannot, in all honesty agree with all of Neo's opinions. I cannot, simply because I have never been to Singapore, personally talked to anyone who has, discussed the country with online buddies, nor met a Singaporean in the flesh. But as far as freedom of speech is concerned, through the use of a powerful medium, I say, yes, Neo conveyed his message very well. In fact, right at the start, he made it clear through the narration. However, it wasn't the "underlying" content that got to me. It was Kok Pin and his mother that made me cry. I was doing fine until Kok Pin got up the building and...I should have known it would be about family again or I would have bought some tissue! As for funny moments, even if it was supposed to be comedy, there wasn't a lot...
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