Boy on the Fringes – A Viddsee Original by Zachary Yap Leaves Audiences Mesmerized
Written and directed by Zachary Yap, the short film ‘Boy on the Fringes’ takes a long, hard look at the sheer lack of luck and difficulty that most of us are plagued with in our lives. Child actor Ayden Liow stars as the protagonist, a child of a single mother in Singapore. With the mother riddled with cancer, the boy works at a bakery to make ends meet. But as fate would have it, the bakery too falls on hard times, causing more difficulty for the fragile soul and his quest to prevent the unraveling of his entire life.
The story is moving, the script is poignant and the exposition is minimal. Yap really allows the audience to get into the mind of the young boy as the child juggles multiple things at the same time to ensure that his life doesn't fall apart. Child actor Ayden Liow is fantastic and his emotional portrayal of the son is the center of the entire story. Displaying perseverance as well as emotional vulnerability, Liow succeeds in carrying the entire story as a result of his mesmerizing turn as the down on luck child protagonist.
Yap directs the short like an auteur would, keeping exposition to a minimum and allowing the story to unravel itself naturally. Although there is pain and disappointment, there is also hope at the end. If one theme can be taken away from the entire film, it is that the spirit of helping others should always come first. From the bakery owner to the protagonist himself, people are shown helping others as much as they can regardless of their individual problems. With so much misery and pain prevalent in the world, this is one thing that the world needs more of. This is particularly important today when the Coronavirus pandemic has forced many millions across the globe to fall into hard times.
Yap’s film epitomizes the fact that life was never easy for the 98 percent of us but some people, with financial problems and sick caregivers, have it especially hard. Therefore, with an intimate and emotional dive into the trials and tribulations of a young boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders, Zachary Yap’s ‘Boy on the Fringes’ will move you to your core. A testament to the difficulty of life itself and the insurmountable human spirit at the same time, the film is as depressing as it is inspirational. Yap has created a short that is emotional, hard hitting and above all, will move audiences to make the world a better place for all.
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About: The Director
In some ways, this film draws upon my experience of growing up in Singapore. In my early teens, my mother was in poor health, and my family was in a state of financial crisis. It was a challenging period for me, having to start working at an early age to share some financial burden. I wasn’t the most capable person but I was trying to be strong. The feeling of helplessness and loneliness, despair and unknown beauty; and the yearning for warmth – these are the major textures that pervade this film. They say the festive season is generally perceived as a jolly period but it is not always all warm and fuzzy for everyone. There are many hidden struggles in plain sight. Regardless, people are trying to do good. There exists a traditional ideology of a cheerful giver; which reminds us to give out of love and from the heart. So, I was curious to explore, how will society transform an ordinary young boy who is trying to care for his sick mother to grow and become a better man.
For more on the director, IMDB profile: https://www.imdb.com/