Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Just Follow Law- Another Hit Movie

I'm a big fan of Jack Neo, yup, I've seen and own all his movies from Home Run, I Not Stupid 1 & 2, Best Bet, One More Chance, Money No Enough, I Do, I Do. Heck, I even have Liang Po Po- The Movie on VCD!

Jack Neo's movies are getting better and better but to the average Westerner in US, they'll have no idea what is going on. The beauty of Neo's films isn't in the witty Singlish dialogue (though it often cracks me up- the classic being Jack Neo's 4D rap in Hokkien during the opening of Best Bet)Nope, the beauty of Neo's films is in the layered subtext- the unspoken commentary of Singaporean life that lies just beneath the surface. It isn't the 'quaint' use of Singlish, as some of our colonial-linguists are just beginning to appreciate in mainstream culture; it's the unabashed use of multiple languages to tell a unqiue story made possible by the unique integration of people and culture in Singapore.

I'll tell you who appreciates Jack Neo's films: our good neighbours to the north. Yup, on a training trip to Malaysia, I drove all the way up from Singapore to KL and Kedah. And guess what, during our supper sessions, my Kedah buddies were spouting Neo-esque lines from Best Bet almost like they memorised the entire show.
Our Malaysian brothers share the same 'feel' for life that we do :)
My Caucasian friends (whom we can affectionately call 'Ang Moh', these days), having stayed in Singapore for awhile, are starting to see and understand the same jokes.
Yes, Neo's films are for are select crowd- the heartlanders

Granted, that films like Home Run will touch international audiences with its poignancy but unless you're Malaysian or Singaporean, you'll never get the in-joke about the 2 kids quarreling about drawing water from the drinking well. It's hilarious but you just can't translate or explain it.

In this tradition, Neo's latest film, Just Follow Law is funny, critical and touching all at the same time. It gives us a self-deprecating look at how bureaucratic civil service can be and yet how the average layman refuses to help himself. While he isn't entirely objective (we can see where his sympathies lie), he presents a pretty balanced picture.

And Fann Wong's performance... Really, I never thought much about her acting skills but in this movie, she shows that she can act. Likewise, Gurmit's role is actually very demanding, although much subtler than Fann's. I'm not going to give any spoilers here. Check out the Official Film Site for Just Follow Law

Trust me, it's a good film to watch (better than Ghost Rider :)
For a little taste, watch these 2 trailers I downloaded from the film's official site:

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