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Jack Neo brings back the 80s in his latest sequel, Not So Long Time Ago

By Flora  /  12 Apr 2019 (Friday)

The film is the sequel to his two-part series Long Long Time Ago, starring Mark Lee, Richie Koh, Danny Lee, Macy Meixin, Regina Lim, Yap Hui Xin, Charmaine Sei and Benjamin Tan.

Not So Long Time Ago follows the story of the Lim family where conflict grows between Ah Kun (Lee) and his nephew Shun Fa (Koh). The film will explore themes of generational differences between the Merdeka generation and the following generation, along with the impact of nation-building policies implemented from the 80s.

The film is currently in production and is expected to complete filming in mid-May, with a slated release in Singapore towards the end of 2019.

Apart from buying 10c snacks at mama shops or catching guppies at the longkangs, Singapore in the 80s is a period of steep economic growth and drastic social changes. The film will focus on the ups and downs of moving into HDB flats from kampung houses; the closure of Chinese-medium schools; and the Xin Yao era. 

“It’s not a historical documentary,” said Neo, adding that “rather, it is told in the point of view how the citizens felt during that time, their hardships and how they adapted to the changes in Singapore.”

For the younger actors, playing in the 80s may pose a challenge to some as they did not grow up in that era. To get into their characters, some spoke to their parents to learn more about those times, while some watched videos to get a glimpse of what was it like in Singapore then. 

One such example is 25-year-old Richie Koh, who plays Shun Fa, the youngest son of Zhao Di, shared that he watched documentaries about Singapore to learn about the past. 

“I was very impressed with the sets and props. It really brought me back to the past and sets the right mood for you to film (the scenes),” Koh added. 

Playing Ah Kun’s son Yong Xing is Taiwan’s heartthrob Danny Lee who is working with Neo for the first time.”

“I have to speak Mandarin, English and dialects, so it’s quite tough for me,” he shared. “I am afraid that my Hokkien may sound more like Taiwanese Min Nan language as compared to Singapore’s Hokkien, but I’m glad that director Neo and the cast like Mark Lee will help me to tweak the tone and the inflections of my dialect.”

For actress Hui Xin who plays the third daughter, Su Qin, she started to speak to her parents in Hokkien more frequently so as to get used to speaking the dialect fluently.

Not So Long Time Ago is slated to be released InCinemas November 2019. 
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