Saturday, October 16, 2010

Better Late Than Never - This Is An Exceptional Movie

I can't tell you how long this DVD has been sitting on my desk.... I was skeptical at first when I saw the cast. I thought this was an over the top highly commercialised venture tapping on top Malaysian Chinese singers. The film was released in April, so its my bad, as my circle of friends do not have a lot of Mandarin speakers, I was kind of out of the loop even though I watch a lot of Chinese movies and series.


The movie was the brainchild of Ah Niu (Tan Kheng Seong), who probably put all his wealth and resources into the movie as he wrote, acted and directed the film.

The cast was a veritable list of Malaysian singers who made it big in Taiwan, Singapore, HK and Malaysia. For a Malaysian singing in Chinese, you had to break through the Taiwan market first before even gaining acceptance in Malaysia and Singapore. Taiwanese are so open to genuine talent.

He managed to rope in the combustible Gary Chaw, the "prodigal" Eric Moo (who still insists he is Singaporean when he grew up in Kampar), the likable Victor Wong, the very charming Fish Leong, and of course the delectable Lee Sinje. There were even cameos by Penny Tai, Nicholas Teo.

Amazingly, the cast acted extremely well and natural. There were some "over" by Gary and Eric, but still pretty good.

The storyline is nostalgic, the lensing was 110% beautiful, it lovingly captures the images. Its a very Malaysian story, I heard that many of the audience were multi racial and they enjoyed the film just as much. Despite the numerous cast members, the story unfleshed itself very well, you felt for each individual character, their persuasions, their fears and motivations.

The story was set in a small town near Ipoh and later in Penang, capturing the small town feeling of old. Veteran actor Angela Chan and Chan Kwok Kwan were splendid.

Its 1 hour 45 minutes but you will be engrossed by the movie. Thankfully the movie did very well in local theatres grossing RM4m before meeting even greater success in Taiwan and Singapore.

I think Ah Niu has deep film making talent. I am glad he risked it all and got more than that in return. You should go and buy the DVD (not the pirated ones please) and you will be pleasantly surprised.





Its bittersweet, its web of relations were genuine and sincere in execution even though its more of a coming of age movie. The film's pacing, framing and story telling were superb. It is top class because there is a tendency to be too explicit, the film was restrained to allow for the audience to reflect and feel with the characters.

Unfortunately the movie will not enjoy entertainment tax rebate as it has been classified as a foreign movie. OMG!!! The reasoning given was that it does not meet the criteria for a 20% rebate as less than 60% of the movie script was in Bahasa Malaysia. The Federation of Chinese Associations of Malaysia president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah as saying that the Treasury Department should waive the tax. Sigh ...

Ice Kacang Puppy Love (2010)

Anyways, its a brilliant effort! Don't let the film title put you off, it will be the best movie you have watched in a long while.

10 comments:

Ivan said...

any fair idea on budget 2011 that you might be able to shaer out?

most analysis and big listed company always give a +ve comment on gov news..even that is bad news, also can talk in a good way to miss-lead the rest of plp. .

iamyuanwu said...

I've heard great stuff about the movie, but yet to watch it. And Ah Niu has always wanted to be an actor & director.

BTW, were you the one sitting next to Leslie at the back row in the WVC+jz8 concert?

bOcy said...

yes, hope to hear your comments on b2011

felt that mostly benefit big companies in construction/palm oil

messi said...

dali, i never expect u wtch this kind of movie. lol.

its a malaysian movie. we all should support n those who still haven't watch should buy d ori.

Alto said...

you should watch reign of assassins by michelle yeoh. i think it is pretty good too :)

Wilson J Q Quah said...

It's damn nice right??

I'm thinking of stocking this movie on dvd and give as gifts to friends overseas. Great gift I think.

sam said...

forget about the tax rebate, aim for the oversea's market.

believe said...

Sifu, surprised by ur comment. BTW were u chi-ed? impeccable eng u hv. FYI, ah niu is abt rm3mil in debt n facing lawsuit fr ex partner. I think his pretax margin is abt 20-25%, cant recall,cost is abt 6mil or so i think. He needs abt 24mil box office to make $

believe said...

ok sifu i got the facst now,
cost= 4mil
msia box ofice =4mil
foreign movie tax =20%
(govt later said , in principal,wil refund
himn 800k)
50% on 3.2m= pay to cinema, distributor
if he get the refund, his net =2.4mil
if he didnt get, his net =1.6mil

overseas box office neeeded to breakeven
is about 6mil, assume 40% margin

in total, he needs 10-12mil box office,
that is excluding other costs.
"rather difficult"

solomon said...

Dont be never , late also never mind....A very touching and real life story indeed....watch it this afternoon.

I like the theme song, children loves it as well. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMl1D_DcvMs&NR=1)

On the tax, we have to remind ourselves of not having Vijay Singh as Malaysian, do we want to do the same again? Outflow of talents, if not properly addressed.

Brother Najib, maybe you could take a good look soon?