Sandcastle (2010) Movie Script

Remember the play we wrote together?
About the man who spent his life
searching for that kingdom under the sea?
That Utopia he was so sure
he could bring his people to?
Do you still think that world exists?
If he were to give up the search now
would it mean that he had lived for nothing?
To light up this beautiful city
And share it with the world
Guided only by this river of life
Together we will live our dreams.
My home
is where I keep my joy and sorrow
With hope, our dreams will soar.
My home, has given me
a pair of wings.
No matter where I am
I will always have my home.
En, are you ready?
Yeah, wait. I'm changing.
Why did you lock the door?
I said wait! I am changing!
Why did you lock the door?
I was changing.
But you were alone at home!
I'm just used to locking it.
Are you bringing all of this?
No, we can leave those in the store room.
Don't forget to take the curtains down.
Use them to cover the furniture in the living room.
It's going to get dusty
when they start the drilling.
And the lamp too, thanks.
Next to the mirror please.
Are you ready to go?
For the next two weeks
don't give Grandpa too much trouble.
Grandma's condition is worsening.
This cat came all the way from Malaysia!
You've come a long way, haven't you?
Anything else in the car?
No, this is all.
That must be heavy
let me help you with that.
It's fine, don't worry about it.
Pa, I found this in Ers room.
Don't know who it's from.
You can work on it with Ma.
The puzzle of the kittens is short of one piece.
Pass me the box
I can have it exchanged.
Who is this artist?
Who's this Van Gogh?
Do you see it?
Oh, here it is.
Where should I plug this?
Dial-up is really slow.
It's just for two weeks.
Watch your attitude.
It was you who didn't want to come with us to
These telephones should still be working.
He can use them.
He doesn't need a telephone.
The cable is for his computer
En, do you need a telephone?
No need, Grandpa.
How strange.
Using a phone cable for a computer.
This house will be very messy during the
How much does it cost?
About $3000.
It's mainly for Ers bedroom.
Furniture and paint job.
And the kitchen cabinets too.
En, come and have dinner.
Shouldrt he be in the army yet?
He's enlisting later this year.
He's grown so much.
Is he the rooster or the rat?
He's the rooster.
Leng's boy was born in the Year of the Rat.
So he's the one born premature?
Yes, by C-section.
He must be 18 this year.
Grandpa's asking how old you are.
Oh, it's time to get your driver's license.
Did you get the number for the driving school?
I didn't pass by Eunos.
Is Grandma sleeping?
I think she is.
Can you take me to Malaysia this Sunday?
Didrt I say I'll take you when I'm back?
But the Tomb Sweeping Festival ends on
I went last week
but I don't mind going again.
It's okay, Pa.
I'll take him when I return from my trip.
Go tell Grandma it's dinnertime.
Go on!
I really don't mind taking him there.
I'll bring him there when I come back.
This is the physiotherapy room.
This is where we hold our daily morning exercise.
Sometimes we have volunteers from associations
or schools who would come and perform.
Let me show you our other room.
This is our other physiotherapy room.
The ward on the other side is for male residents.
There's another male ward on the fourth floor.
The female wards are on the third and fifth floors.
Do you have mixed wards?
For married couples
we usually recommend private rooms.
But these requests are quite rare
and the rooms are currently not available.
We have a lovely view here.
It looks even better on the fifth floor.
Do you know how to use the camera?
Come, come to Grandpa.
Do you know how?
I do!
What a clever boy.
When was this taken?
What a clever boy.
About 10 years ago.
Luckily I digitised the tape into my computer
before it got mouldy.
En, are you having fun?
I am!
Shall we go to Malaysia on Sunday?
There's no electricity.
Where's Grandpa?
There's no electricity.
Boon, you're back?
Grandma, I am En.
Boon, when did you come back?
Grandma, I am En. Not Boon.
Here, let me do it.
There's no electricity.
It must have tripped again.
I'll fix it in a while.
Boon, when did you come back?
He is not Boon, he's En.
Not Boon?
He is Boors son.
Boon has gone back to Malaysia.
What is he doing back in Malaysia?
He's always preferred it there.
Grandma, we'll visit him this Sunday, okay?
Have they allowed him to come back?
You young people are so tech-savvy.
I need you to help me preserve some of these.
Do you still have that bolster?
I think Mother threw it away.
Did Father take these?
Those were taken by me.
That's the photo your father chose for his
Wasrt he vain?
Dying at 50 but insisting
on being remembered as a 20-year-old.
Did Father write this?
Do you know how to read it?
No, it's written in Traditional Chinese.
What's this?
Have you heard of
the Chinese school student protests of 1956?
Your father was part of it.
Really? So he took these photos?
Those were taken by me.
Were you also a reporter?
That was before I started the bridal photo studio.
These were taken by your father.
These photos were taken in 1961. He was a
student leader by that time.
He was?
At that time the schools were switching from
the Chinese system to the English system.
The Secondary 4 students then decided to
boycott the exams.
Don't you have these negatives in prints?
They were destroyed in the 60's
when the political situation got too sensitive.
But I managed to keep some of the negatives.
Mother has mentioned before
that Father was brainwashed
to do some anti-government things.
But I had no idea he was a student leader.
They like to use that word a lot.
How do you actually "brainwash"?
What the students had back then were
convictions and beliefs.
All they wanted was for Malaya to be
independent from the British.
Back then it was so easy to be labeled a
Sorry, Grandpa.
No I can't. I'm working later.
Where's the mirror in the bathroom?
I removed it.
There's one in the studio's bathroom.
I made some dinner for you.
You can have it for supper when you get back.
Don't stay out too late.
We should leave early tomorrow
or there will be a traffic jam on the Causeway.
Okay. Bye, Grandpa.
Are you tired?
Want to go to bed now?
Let's continue tomorrow.
I'll be watering the plants.
I'll come to bed after that.
Was there a power trip?
Grandma? What's wrong?
Did Grandpa fall asleep?
This is my son, Xiang En.
He is so big now.
He looks a lot like Boon, doesn't he?
They're saying you look a lot like Father.
Many people say that.
You don't have to go.
We'll do our own prayers later.
Have you seen Grandpa?
We are going to the seaside.
I'm ready to go.
It is nighttime now.
You already went to the beach this morning.
See, it's already nighttime.
I didn't realise it's already nighttime.
Grandpa's gone out.
He asked you to sleep first.
Where did he go?
Aunt Leng brought him out.
Come, Grandma, lie down.
What time will he be back?
He'll be back late.
He said you should sleep first.
Did they go to Malaysia to visit Boon
without me?
No, Grandma.
They just went out to buy something.
Grandpa will bring you to the seaside in the
morning, okay?
Sleep first.
Are these yours?
Mum, can I ask you something?
Were Father and you both 38 when you got
And you met him in Malaysia?
When we were both working in Malaysia.
Did you know he was involved in
the student protests in Singapore in the 50's?
I didn't know.
Why do you ask?
Grandpa mentioned it to me the other day.
I only know he was involved with the student
and that they tried to brainwash him.
He never told you about the protests?
Come out once you're done packing.
There are more guests coming.
Can't Seng watch over your son?
He's only just starting school.
Besides, the embassy also needs me there.
It took me so long to get this job.
Hian, you know I really can't help it.
I wish I could be here to take care of her.
I feel so useless as a daughter.
I have this brochure. Do you want to look at it?
When you were away Grandpa asked me to go
with him.
Why would he do that?
I don't know
but I think he really liked the place.
Excuse me, where's the toilet?
There's a portable toilet outside.
Ask Leng, my sister-in-law.
Was this your idea?
Why would Grandpa want to put Grandma in a
nursing home?
He wanted to be there with her!
Grandma will move in with us.
There's space for a mattress in your room.
But we just had it renovated.
Take this back.
Take it!
He came back.
Came back from where?
I didn't think he would ever come back.
Hello, Ying.
Come in, there's still space.
It's okay, I'll wait for the next one.
Come on. There's plenty of space.
Have you unpacked?
Is Grandma sleeping?
This came from the Ministry of Defense.
Let me go out!
I said no.
I've already made plans with my friends!
Ying, you have been lagging behind in school
since we moved to Singapore.
Why are you still wasting time?
I'm already 21. I know what I'm doing!
I said no!
You stay in here and come to your senses!
Do you leave it on all the time?
Yeah I always leave it on but it's always been
Must have been the power surge.
But it has never happened before.
It must be the motherboard or the power supply.
What about the hard disk?
Will the data be okay?
I can't guarantee that but we'll try our best and let
you know as soon as possible.
What is it, Grandma?
Where are my earrings?
Are these the ones?
I told Ben I'm quitting at the end of the month.
My mother doesn't like me doing this.
I heard from Cheryl you are still doing that choir
My mother wasrt in town.
I had to stand in for her.
Ask her to give you a break. School's over.
Was she on holiday with the giant colonel?
Do you think she's fucking him?
Fuck off!
I have to go off first.
Andy will lock up later.
Are you alright?
Shall I send you back home?
Where are your keys?
Are you Mr Tan Xiang En?
I'm your instructor
Mr Chua.
Hi, Mr Chua.
Do you have your driving theory certificate?
Can I check it?
I sent in my iMac more than two weeks ago for
The man said it would take a few days.
Can you call my mobile phone?
Okay, thanks.
Grandma, it's so hot. Want me to turn on the fan?
He listens to you.
Persuade him to sign it.
It's only a signature.
Grandma? Are you talking to me?
you can't live like this forever.
Mum's in her room.
It's been so many years.
Boon listens to you.
Persuade him to sign it.
Boon will listen to you.
Persuade him to sign it.
Grandma, what are you talking about?
Boon will listen to you.
Sir Stamford Raffles signed a second treaty with
the Sultan and Temenggong
which extended British possession to most of the
This agreement brought the island under the
British law.
By 1827, the Chinese became the largest ethnic
group in Singapore.
They consisted of Chinese coolies who flocked to
Singapore to escape
the economic hardship in Southern China due to
the Opium Wars.
Many arrived in Singapore as lmpoverished
Indentured labourers.
No, read it.
Impoverished, indentured labourers and they
predominantly males.
En, come and eat your dinner.
The rice is not cooked.
It's cooked, Ma.
I will get indigestion eating this.
It's cooked.
I can tell when the rice isn't cooked!
Okay, okay.
I'll add some soup to soften it okay?
Wilson is joining us.
You don't mind, do you?
Too much rice for me.
Mrs Tan, eating dinner?
Sorry, I finished work late.
Young man, happy birthday!
This is for you.
Sorry, I didn't have time to wrap it.
Your mum said your computer isn't working.
So I figured a laptop would come in useful.
You shouldn't have! It must have cost a lot.
It's nothing.
As long as he likes it.
Come, let's eat.
Mrs Tan, let's eat.
Hey, can I ask you something?
What year did the Chinese school riots in
Singapore take place?
October 1956.
Top History student.
Were the students Communists?
They were protesting
the closure of the student union which was
supposedly pro-Communist.
And in the 60's the government arrested the
That's also a contentious issue
whether or not those arrested were Communists.
What happened to them?
Were they exiled?
Some were locked up for a really long time,
some of them were exiled.
Are you going through some kind of exams
Here with your friend?
I'm not working today.
It's my birthday!
I said, it's my birthday!
Stand up for Singapore
Do the best you can
If you stand up for Singapore
You'll find it all won'thwhile
Believe in yourself. You've got something to
So show us all you really care
Be prepared to give a little more
Stand up, stand up for Singapore!
Did you come home late last night?
My friends and I were celebrating my birthday.
You shouldn't stay up so late.
It's very unealthy.
It was my birthday!
I'm just saying it's unealthy. That's all.
Have you transferred the video discs for me?
My computer died. I need more time.
What about the laptop I gave you?
Can't it do transfers?
Doesrt it have a movie-making software?
Just put them on the floor. I'll sort them out.
There's another bag at the door.
Are you coming back later for dinner?
Why don't we eat out?
No, I'd rather cook.
The food court downstairs
is staffed by people from China.
I don't trust the hygiene standards anymore.
Didrt we all come from there?
What did you say?
Can you sign over here?
Okay, there you go.
You're welcome.
Yeah. I just collected my computer today.
Havert had time to digitise it.
Yeah. But some of the data is gone.
I'll have to send the hard disk for recovery.
When does he need it?
3 pm?
Yeah, found it.
Only the blue one?
No longer will we fear
No longer will we look back
I will use the fire in my heart
To light up a billion candles
Useless old man!
Are you having an affair?
You took all my jewellery!
It's all gone!
Grandma, what's wrong?
Look! My earrings are gone again!
Where did you put them?
Where did I put them?
You should be asking that old man!
Ma, I'm not Pa.
How many times must I tell you?
You made me suffer all these years.
You and your stupid ideals.
It was all your fault!
You brainwashed your son
and made him suffer too!
Boon had to suffer all those years
because of you!
They should have arrested you too!
Don't listen to her. She's crazy.
We hold morning exercises everyday.
We usually have the air-conditioning on
but we sometimes open the windows
to let in some sea breeze.
Let me show you around.
En, do you have the video disc?
On the table.
Are you sure you don't want to come to choir
practice today?
Thanks man.
When are you enlisting?
If you need any kind of advice on anything just
give me a call.
Are you sure you don't want to come today?
Okay, settle dinner on your own.
Don't skip it again.
Bye bye.
For next year's show,
we want to promise Singapore
a lovely mix of lights, colour and action at the
National Stadium.
I want every spectator to be a part of the
So they are not there to just watch the show but
be a part of the show.
And so we need to aim for that emotional peak.
I want every spectator
to have a lump in the throat
tear in the eye.
And that's when we all have that sense of pride.
Is there another track?
No, Sir.
Large scale land reclamation has been
Do you think it was funny?
You don't like it?
Don't you think you've gone too far?
You may not like me very much now
I'm really sincere about your mum.
She told me about your father and...
That's none of your business.
Okay, fine.
Even if it's none of my business
do you know that
your mother talks a lot about you?
About how proud she is of you?
I hope you bear in mind that
she needs you more than you need her.
What's on your mind?
Your bed smells funny.
What's so funny?
Where you're lying is where my Grandma always
Why didn't you tell me earlier?
I didn't smell anything!
You did! Smell this.
I don't smell anything.
Not so loud.
Get lost.
I can't look at you anymore.
I said get lost.
Don't touch me!
Don't you call me that.
You shameless
What have I been teaching you all these years?
How can you let your father down like that?
Why are you over-reacting?
I'm over-reacting?
Go and reflect on what you've done.
I did suggest from the start to put her in a nursing
home okay?
It was what Grandpa wanted.
Just because you wanted to save face...
Are you crazy?
Get lost.
The MRI shows a small blood clot which led to
what we call an ischemic stroke.
We removed it in time
but her Alzheimer's Disease may worsen.
When she recovers
we will do a few tests to assess her situation.
Are you the primary caregiver?
And my son.
Have you noticed any strange symptoms?
Like hallucinations, paranoia
or strange repetitive behaviour?
the doctor needs to transfer you to another
But I don't feel any more pain.
You won't be able to walk for a while
but the nurses there will help you.
It's almost been a week. Have you called your
Did you get to talk to her?
Oh please. After what happened?
What's so funny?
Do you know how embarrassing it was?
Does your father know?
Thank goodness no.
She didn't tell him.
Your grandma is now in a nursing home.
Did he mention which one?
Don't scratch or it'll scar.
But it's so itchy!
My father taught me to do this.
What does it do?
Put a cross on them
and they'll stop itching.
Does it work?
They still itch.
They won't if you don't think about them.
Anywhere else?
Is that army guy your stepfather?
Arert they married?
What did your father die of?
Pancreatic cancer.
Do people in China believe
that seven days after a person dies
his spirit returns in some form to visit his family?
"The 7th Day Visit".
A few days after my father died
I remember my mother
bringing me to the beach.
It's one of my clearest memories.
This dragonfly hovered over us
and landed on a sandcastle in front of us.
I remember it clearly
because that was the first time I witnessed my
mother cry.
Seven days after my grandpa died
another dragonfly appeared.
Seems like my family has a thing for dragonflies.
Hey, wake up.
Your mother didn't come?
No, I came alone.
I brought you this.
I also brought your pillow.
Can I ask you something?
Was Father
involved with the Communists in the past?
Was he ever arrested?
Why are you asking?
Did your mother tell you anything?
She said
he was involved with the student unions.
That's all she knows.
Let bygones be bygones.
Did you look for him?
Hi Aunt Leng.
When did you come back?
Two days ago. You know Pastor Toh?
Hi, Pastor.
Hi young man. Havert seen you in a while.
We're here to pray for Grandma. Come join us?
I was just about to leave.
I have driving lessons.
Join us for a while?
Your mother's on her way.
She told me.
I'll see you inside.
Have you been living alone at Grandpa's place?
Whatever it is,
you two should talk it over properly.
Your mother needs you.
You're a sensible boy.
I should go.
Some more. Okay, stop.
Change to "R". It's the reverse gear.
Now to look behind, look at the mirror.
The mirror is better. Now let go.
Grandpa didn't come.
Did he go to Malaysia again without me?
What did the doctor say?
She had another stroke
but they managed to remove the blood clot in
Can we see her now?
They'll let us know when we can go in.
Take a seat first.
Come, take a seat first.
What time's the baptism?
I just called Pastor Toh.
He's on his way.
You are baptising Grandma?
She's accepted God.
Since when?
Did she want it or did you want it for her?
What do you mean?
Family of Madam Choo Cheng Fong?
Your father had beautiful handwriting.
Can't you read these Traditional Chinese
I don't know.
Remember the play we wrote together?
Chung Cheng High School
About the man who spent his life searching for
that kingdom under the sea?
That Utopia he was so sure he could bring his
people to?
Do you still think the world exists?
If he were to give up the search now
would it mean that he had lived for nothing?
Throughout my 27 years in detention and exile
you've sacrificed so much for me.
Yeah, I did. They are meeting us there.
Okay, can you sign here?
Kannan, help this young man put his grandma in
the car, please.
Yeah, sure.
let's visit Father, okay?
Passports, please.
That day En was born
I stood on the other side of the Straits
staring at the shoreline in the distance.
I wish I could be there to hold your hand
the way you held on to mine all those years.
I never managed to tell you this.
Ma came to visit me that day.
She persuaded me once again to sign the false
To condemn my own convictions
so that I could come home.
"Your child has been born"
she kept saying
"Which is more important to you?"
"The Man Who Returned From The Sea"
That Utopia we so passionately believed in.
After all these years
how would you continue the story?
When the man came home
he told people about it.
But they were too fearful of the sea
to believe in him.
Unwilling to leave his loved ones behind
he abandons the sea.
And attempts to forget that such a world exists.
He ends up only returning to the shoreline
at the end of his life
to realize that he only has enough courage
to stand at the water's edge.
Madam Choo, you are back.
Had a good time with your family?
Please sign here.
Where did your daughter-in-law bring you?
I'll help you bathe before you rest, okay?
They look so young!
They were only in high school.
Hey, this is the same picture!
Who's this woman?
It's my mother.
It is?
I can hardly tell.
No wonder she appeared so many times in the
other pictures.
She did?
There. Isn't that her?
She looks younger here.
And I think that's your father.
Do you know how to do it?
Do you?
I know.
So clever.
When was this taken?
On my 5th birthday.
Pass this to Wilson. It's done.
I remember the days
when all we did was write, perform and sing.
"Art is always and everywhere the secret
And at the same time the immortal movement of
its time".
I first came across that quote through you.
I was never as creative as you were.
So sought to document and preserve
the same way Pa does it.
I can't remember the last time I took a picture.
Do you remember the last time you wrote
Throughout my 27 years in detention and exile
you've sacrificed so much for me.
After all that we've been through
I know it is very hard for you to hear this.
The cancer spreading in my body
is a reality we have to learn to accept.
Knowing that I can't be there for you
makes me feel so helpless.
But I believe you will make the right decisions
to give our son the life he deserves.
Tan Xiang En.
Are your nails dirty?
Want me to trim them for you?
Our photos have been destroyed.
Our story will probably never be heard.
My only hope
is that En will one day be old enough
to realize the sacrifices you've made.
Promise me
that you will live a fulfilling life
and continue to stay true to yourself.
Training to be soldiers
Fight for our land
Once in our lives
Two years of our time
Have you ever wondered?
Why must we serve?
Hey Xiang En
Sir wants to see you in his office.
I don't know, just hurry up.
Platoon one! Fall in!