“The WHEEL”: Singapore movie portraying the Racial Incident at Istana Park

Gibu George as Aadi in "The Wheel"

The racial incident happened in Istana park on June 6, 2021, where an inter-racial couple was confronted by a man were in the news for some time. This incident is partially recreated in the movie “The Wheel”, which is set to be screened on April 1st, 2023.

This Singaporean film is scheduled to be screened at FilmGarde Cineplex, Kallang Leisure Park. Written and directed by Rajith Mohan, the film is 32 minutes long and in English. The film has garnered more than 25 awards in various categories in international film festivals worldwide, making it one of the most anticipated films in Singaporean cinema.

The movie follows the life of Aadi, a young man who is struggling with loneliness and the aftermath of a recent breakup in present-day Singapore. It explores Aadi’s search for meaning and connection in a society where many people remain single and racial tensions are subtly present.

One of the unique features of “The Wheel” is the way it incorporates the Chinese philosophy of the Butterfly Dream into the narrative. This philosophy, which originated in the 1st century AD, suggests that our perception of reality may be an illusion, just like a butterfly dreaming it is a man, or a man dreaming he is a butterfly. The film uses this concept to explore the nature of reality, consciousness, and the human experience, questioning the distinction between what is real and what is illusory.

Paul Lee as Fred Lee in the film “The Wheel”

The Butterfly Dream philosophy is not the only theme that the film explores. The director also delves into issues such as loneliness, aging, and the complexities of navigating a rapidly changing and diverse society. A recent news article states that around 32% of the population of Singapore are singles, and this statistic is reflected in the story of Aadi, who finds himself feeling increasingly isolated despite the festivities around him.

The film also touches upon a true incident of racism towards an interracial couple near Istana Park in Singapore. Though this is not the main story, the film uses this to send a message about the importance of unity and acceptance across cultural and racial differences. The multi-racial makeup of the characters in the film reflects the diversity of Singaporean society, and the story explores the tensions and conflicts that can arise in a multicultural society in a very subtle manner.

“The Wheel” is rich in visual symbolism, and each frame is crafted to convey meaning to the audience. The Singapore Flyer is also a character in its own right within the movie. The names for the characters in the movie also add depth and meaning to their roles in the story, a testament to the attention to detail and thoughtfulness of the writer-director in crafting a multi-layered and complex narrative.

Neha Zest as Venus in the film “The Wheel”

Gibu George and Neha Zest plays the lead characters, supported by Jayaram Nair, Paul Lee, Azzy Mozerin, Manuel Steirer, Adrian Toh, Vinayakan and Sheely. Aneesh Karunakaran has done the editing. Posters were designed by Ramesh Karma. Camera was done by Leon Isaac Lim, a prominent DOP in Singapore and the Original Score is from Paul Vimal Vimo, who is based in Melbourne.  

“The Wheel” is a poignant exploration of the challenges of modern life, including loneliness, the search for connection, and the complexities of navigating a rapidly changing and diverse society. Its multi-layered and complex narrative, attention to detail, and visual symbolism make it a must-watch for Singaporean cinema enthusiasts.

Screening date : 1st April 2023, Saturday

To block tickets: https://forms.gle/yXHMXsnL2jMLoRKG6

Watch The Wheel Trailer here: