CLAUSTROPHOBIA | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

CLAUSTROPHOBIA

Veteran Hong Kong screenwriter Ivy Ho (Divergence) makes his feature directorial debut with this tale about a clandestine romance between a marketing secretary and a married manager. No one in the office suspects that Pearl (Karena Lin) and Tom (Ekin Cheng) are having an affair, not even their close friends Jewel (Chucky Woo) and John (Derek Tsang). As the story begins shifting between past and present, the affair is slowly understood as how it came to be and where it could be heading in the future.

Language: Cantonese
Subtitle: English
Classification: PG13
Release Date: 30 Apr 2009
Genre: Romance
Running Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Distributor: COLUMBIA TRISTAR FILMS
Cast: Ekin Cheng, Karena Lim, Derek Tsang, Chucky Woo
Director: Ivy Ho
Format: NA

[More] [Malay Synopsis]
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Review
Writer: Syahida Kamarudin

Writer Ratings:
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Effects: NA
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Watch this if you liked: "Divergence", "In the Mood for Love", "Memento"

Claustrophobia. The state in which fear arise when being inside an enclosed space, and is the best title there is for this Ivy Ho's directorial debut. A story about feelings that slowly develops between two person in an office, "Claustrophobia" is told in retrospective, such that can be seen in movies like Christopher Nolan's "Memento". What the director tries to explain to the audience is the restriction and suffocation - the two symptoms of claustrophobia that can be related to a relationship, moreover a relationship that blooms inside an enclosed space such as an office.

No, the theme of 'clandestine romance' may make the film sounds as though it stands in the same group with "Closer" or Wong Kar Wai's "In the Mood for Love". However, do not be fooled as the movie does not take the same route, instead choosing to show audience how did the feeling develops and how it ends, and not the relationship itself. Other than the two main characters Tom and Pearl, it also chooses to make another observation of an inter-office relationship between Jewel and John - albeit in a more lighthearted approach.

Performance-wise, Ekin Cheng looks very comfortable playing the role of kindhearted married-with-kids Tom, whose gentle facade succeeded in making the relationship as discreet as it could. Karena Lam, more popular for her role in "Koma" opposite Lee Sin-je succeeded in making Pearl someone who is relatable - convinced yet confused, as any other woman who realised the trouble she is in. However, do take notice of Eric Tsang's character. Though only making a special appearance, Tsang is very much adorable as the very friendly Dr. Chui who gives medical and parental advice simultaneously.

The script - though at times sounds quite pretentious, can be very blunt and truthful, like how Pearl wanted to have the less painful foot massage as "...life is already a pain, why would I wanna pay more for it". Kudos again to Ivy, who also operates as a scriptwriter, which of course would be her forte.

Having said that, if you are not the most patient and passionate at heart, this film is not for you.

Cinema Online, 24 April 2009
   
Showtimes
 
Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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