‘Fall’ by Norris Wong is a well-loved relationship drama on Viddsee, about an unhappy young woman who falls spectacularly into her own lies, her version of love, and falls back into her old ways.
Michelle in a relationship with a married man, and as the story goes, she tries to will herself positively out of the situation. She trusts that he will keep his promises, and that her life and love will improve after enrolling in a self-help programme.
We speak to Norris about ‘Fall’, and about how peer pressure, media and its messages can lead us to think that that’s all there is to a happy, fulfilling life.
1 – In your own words, how would you describe the parallels between Michelle’s romantic relationship and the ‘Believe’ self-help programme?
A person in an unhappy romantic relationship, is like a person in the ‘Believe’ self-help programme. This person is self-deceptive. This person refuses to admit that they are in an unfair situation, and they are not able to face the fact that they are “stupid”.
They invest a lot unnecessarily for unpractical and “fake comforts” from others.
2 – Could you share your thoughts on why people are willing to be “brainwashed by love”? Why is love so powerful, that the ego is completely loss in the emotion?
Expectations of parents and friends; description in literature and popular culture, social policies that benefit married couples, etc. All these make us believe that having a romantic relationship is very important in our lives.
We are all “brainwashed” to believe that “staying in a stable love relationship” is the only way to live a happy live. That’s why we panic at the thought of living a single life. When a person is too desperate to be in love, one’s ego is completely loss.
3 – In making this short film, how did you research on developing Michelle’s character and psychological state of mind?
I attended an introductory class of self-help programme and observed the classmates in the class. I talked to them and tried to understand their reasons for joining the class.
Surprisingly, most of them mentioned that they were facing big life decisions and difficulties, such as getting divorced or being fired from a job. The self-help programme helped them to get over those phases. I believed that anyone who joins self-help programmes are unhappy. With that, I tried to develop an unhappy character, and ended up portraying a girl “in a love relationship without love”.
4 – You made this film in 2013. Would you have done anything differently?
In 2015, I wrote an adapted screenplay for a local TV drama series (‘Margaret and David: Green Bean’) about cohabitation couples. It was not as dark as ‘Fall’, but it is quite realistic when comparing to other stories portraying romantic relationship.
If those love fantasy films are pink and purple, my films and screenplays about love are black and grey. I think it’s a responsibility to create more “realistic” love stories (some would say that these are “negative” stories) to balance out the “brainwashing” [from the media and its messages] that I mentioned above.