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4:30 Review

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4:30 traces the relationship between an 11-year-old Chinese Boy and his 'uncle', a thirty-something Korean man.

★★★★★

Having made an impact with the overrated 15, Singaporean maverick Royston Tan returns with a fascinating two-hander that chronicles the unconventional relationship between 11-year-old Xiao Li-yuan and Kim Young-jun, the Korean ’uncle’ who is babysitting him.

Centred on repetitive acts, such as Xiao’s disruption of a Tai Chi group and his rifling through the drunken Kim’s belongings, this is a deceptively minimalist piece, in which Xiao’s curiosity about Kim’s nocturnal activities contrasts with the boredom of his own daily routine.

Less abrasive than its predecessor and recalling Tsai Ming-Liang and early Wong Kar-Wai, it’s a melancholic treatise on isolation and our failure to connect with those closest to us.

A melancholic treatise on isolation and our failure to connect with those closest to us.

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