Director Royston Tan follows his box-office success 881 with another splashy musical melodrama set in Southeast Asia. As a child, Lian Hua (Li Bao-en) dreamed of becoming a performer in Singapore's Getai shows, concerts staged the same month each year and featuring emotionally broad songs of love, life and death. However, Lian's abusive father dissuaded her from following her dreams, and while Lian never lost her love for music, her ambitions would be tied to tragedy as she grew to adulthood. As a grown woman, Lian (now played by Mindee Ong) still loves Getai music, and finally seems poised to make her mark as a performer when she joins forces with flashy vocalist Astroboy (Damus Lim) and heartthrob Ah Long (Qi Yu-wu). Ah Long falls for Lian and asks to marry her, but their romance comes to an abrupt end and Lian is assaulted by a handful of thugs who want to collect a debt from her father. Ten years later, middle aged Lian (now played by Liu Ling-ling) thinks she may have another chance at success when she finds new love, but fate has led her to the brink of madness and once again disappointment lies in wait for her. 12 Lotus was an official selection at the 2008 Bangkok Film Festival.
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