I went! I actually went!
I gave in to the fangirl inside me and went off to meet @zahirah_riida for the red carpet event at Marina Bay Sands! And that was without having tickets to the premiere event.
We were there around 3pm and waited for more than 3 hours for them to arrive. I thought that I’d probably be the oldest crazy person there but there were actually 2 obasans near me who were older. :))
It was crazy hot and tightly packed but the thought of being in the same space as these stars kept me going, despite me not eating anything the whole day. And it was worth the wait as Sho appeared just a metre away from me slightly after 6pm when they made their entrance.
After which the main cast and director disappeared and I thought the event was over for me. Much to my relief and obvious delight, @zahira_riida got two more tickets from a PR lady whom she got to know at the airport, and she gave one ticket to me!
The movie was terrific as expected. If one is a fan of the drama series, this would definitely be a natural progression from the drama. Shall not dwell on it so as not to give spoilers.
It was the after premiere where the show got going. Unfortunately my DSLR was not allowed in the theatre so I couldn’t take any photos from where I was seated with my iPhone. But thanks to @zahirah_riida, you can watch and hear happened in the 20+ minute post-premiere talk session, even though the image may not be clear since we were behind.
Credits to @zahirah_riida
For those who need translation of Singlish or Japanese, I’m capturing the dialogue below.
Welcome to Singapore! – Audience
Hello. I am Sho Sakurai. Thank you for watching our movie. When shooting, I went to the Raffles Hotel, Marina Bay Sands and of course, Merlion. Alamak, under renovation lah. I am happy to know that everyone who helped me in Singapore can finally see this movie. Er, so thank you so much and I hope you enjoyed it. Er… must recommend to your friends hor. Terima kashih. That’s all. – Sakurai Sho
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I’m Keiko Kitagawa. Did you enjoy the movie? (Yes…) Thank you. I was really looking forward to come here and very happy to see you guys. For the many people who managed to make it here, it has been enjoyable and I am happy. This movie, filmed in Singapore, premieres at exactly a year after filming in Singapore. It has been a pleasure to see everyone who supported this movie enjoying it. I look forward to an enjoyable time interacting with you all. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. – Kitagawa Keiko
Hai. (hai…) Hai. (hai…) I am happy that even with little promotion in Singapore, my “hai” would be imitated by many. Even to children that I meet in Singapore, I enjoy using “hai” to play with them. Everybody say… “hai”! – Shiina Kippei
Doumo. Everyone, konbawa. (Konbawa…) Everyone’s Japanese is superb. I am grateful that this movie is able to come to Singapore and that everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves. Really thank you for coming here today. – Director
Impression of Singapore:
There’s a lot to talk about… (Chicken rice…) I managed to eat Singapore chicken rice when I last came here at a food court near Little India [I presume it is Kopitiam at Verge]. There were quite a number of people and I shared a table with two ladies who did not recognise me. [What a pity!] When I returned to Japan, I tried it once again, but I found it was more delicious here. I have not got a chance to try it now that I am back in Singapore, but I hope to be able to do so before I fly back. – Sakurai Sho
Like Sakurai-san, I find the food here really delicious. On top of that, I find the people here very warm and welcoming, everyone is wonderful and friendly. Even the ladies in Singapore have a wonderful sense of fashion. I hope if I do get to come back to Singapore, I do want to learn more about fashion from the ladies in Singapore. – Kitagawa Keiko
I was surprised by the big Merlion. I saw it for the first time yesterday. (37 metres, at Sentosa, interjects Sho. The three of us went, yesterday.) Was really surprised by it. We actually climbed up to the top of the Merlion. – Shiina Kippei
It was memorable to see a Merlion during and after renovation, when we returned this time after completion. – Director
Emcee’s question to Sho about the film coming to Singapore:
Long pause… (Ganbatte…) Ganbaru? Hmm… (to the translator) Can you please repeat the question?Oh… during the filming and even now, everyone in Singapore has really been supportive, I feel that it was great to come here to do this movie, even though I thought that it would be a slightly long and difficult journey. But to see everyone here today, I’m really happy.
Emcee’s question on what Singapore audience would like about the film:
Everyone would be familiar with the venues featured in the movie, I guess, particularly the final part of the movie. Especially Kippei-san’s last scene of K-Lion that was filmed next to the Merlion. I should think that the main point would be the scenes featured in the movie are of places that everyone in Singapore would be able to identify with and enjoy. – Sakurai Sho
Umm… which part does everyone like the most? Titanic? I also liked that… it was fun. However it was for work. – Kitagawa Keiko
Isn’t it queer to have that pose done in Singapore? – Shiina Kippei
This pose? – Kitagawa Keiko
But rather than it being a Titanic pose, I would like to say that it was done in Nazotoki style, our style that was performed. – Sakurai Sho
Please try to do the pose too, everyone. In Nazotoki style. – Kitagawa Keiko.
Emcee’s question to Keiko on whether audience would like the hugging position:
Isn’t it for work? With Sakurai-san? But everyone seems delighted. I guess everyone would be more delighted to replace me with themselves whilst imagining the scene. – Kitagawa Keiko
Likewise for the guys, they can replace me with themselves too. – Sakurai Sho
Emcee to Kippei-san about what Singapore audience would enjoy:
K-lion. (plus action)
Emcee’s question to the director:
For me it would probably be the bond between parent and child. Whether blood-related or not. If possible please also consider that when with your family.
Rather than me, the director should go first. Onegaiitashimasu. – Sakurai Sho.
I would be grateful if all of you here today could spread the word about this movie to your friends and family so that many more people can enjoy it. Onegaiitashimasu. – Director
To everyone who has come today, it is the first time that I am meeting and greeting such a large number of people from Singapore. Compared to the typical experiences I have had in Japan where there is a invisible distance felt from the audience, its absence and the warmth and welcome which I have felt while being here has really touched me. – Shiina Kippei
From the time we started filming in Singapore even until now, I strongly hoped that many in Singapore were looking forward to seeing the movie. Seeing everyone’s smiling faces here today enjoying the movie, I too feel really delighted. This movie opens in Singapore on 22nd August, which is also my birthday. If you can remember the date, and my birthday, it would be awesome if you could watch it once again, but also please introduce it to your friends so that more people can enjoy it. Thank you very much for the wonderful time I had today. – Kitagawa Keiko
Eh… firstly… to the people on top, the people at the back and the people here in front, thank you very much for coming here today. Even though it was mentioned earlier, lots of familiar places were filmed on the movie, and it seemed that everyone enjoyed that very much. Even though most of you have got it to watch it much earlier, it opens here on 22nd August, on my ojousama’s birthday. As her butler, I am also happy that it occurs on that day. If you could remember the date, please help spread the word about this movie to many other people in Singapore so that more people can enjoy it and also get to know about Japanese movies. Thank you very much for today. – Sakurai Sho
We ended the event with a group photo with the director and cast, but I think most of us on top would unlikely be captured on the photo. In any case, it was one of the best experiences I ever had.
*Disclaimer: I know my interpretations are different from that of the interpreter during the event and I may be wrong about some interpretations. If so, please feel free to let me know.*