30 October 2014, Singapore – Directed by box office filmmaker Doze Niu (鈕承澤) and starring Golden Horse Awards’ Best Actor Ethan Juan (阮經天), Paradise in Service is a compelling movie set to explore the immense impact that war could cause on two different generations.
To Taiwanese militants from the older generation, Unit 831 holds a special meaning. Unit 831 is actually the code name for the front line brothels in Kinmen, an offshore island of Taiwan which is geographically close to China. These brothels are officially sanctioned by authorities to serve the militants. To the militants, Unit 831 is more than just a place to satisfy their sexual desires, but it also is a place where they get some emotional strength.
Set in Unit 831, Paradise in Service seeks to explore the emotions and backstory of both the militants and the girls serving at Unit 831. Through the adventures of new recruit Pao (Ethan Juan), who was assigned to serve at this unit, the film reflects strongly the characters’ desires to be able to meet their families again.
During a short Q&A with the audience at the Gala Premiere of the movie, Ethan shared with the audience that the largest similarity between the movie and his military service was in fact his longing for his family and girlfriend. During the entire period of filming, the actors had never left Kinmen and it was almost similar to serving the military again. In addition, to better allow the actors to feel the isolation and desire to meet their loved ones again, the director had prohibited the actors’ families and other halves from visiting them.
For those familiar with Director Doze’s past works like Monga and LOVE, there is a slight difference between Paradise in Service and his past works in terms of tone and . With the motivation of better portraying the common state of the militants from that generation and their longing for their homeland, Paradise in Service is inevitably emotionally heavier than Monga and LOVE. While this may be so, this film is pretty consistent with Director Doze’s style, and the bits of fun and humour resonate well with the audience.
With a runtime of 138 minutes, this movie may seem a little long. However, due to its ability to keep the audience emotionally engaged throughout, you would actually not realize that it was in fact that long. As Ethan had told the audience before the screening of the movie, “不要喝太多飲料, 電影有點長, 而且你不會有時間上廁所. 每場戲都很重要.” (Don’t drink too much water. The movie is a little long and you won’t have time to go to the toilet. Every scene is very important.)
Paradise in Service would start its run in Singapore screens on 6 November 2014!
KAvenyou would like to thank Encore Films for the invite to Paradise in Service – Meet & Greet (Red Carpet) and Gala Premier.
Article & Photography by: Lauren @ KAvenyou.com