Tiger Woohoo!

Posted: 27th January 2010 by Jacky Yong in Movies and TV Shows
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I’ll be frank, I was being a real dickhead when my wife asked me to teman her watch this movie. “Come on, it’s a Malaysian-chinese made movie, it has sure got to have some really corny lines and stupid slapsticks”. She has asked me to go watch it since last week when it has just been shown in cinemas nationwide. But I have been dragging my feet, delaying the inevitable. But being my wife, she kept nagging reminding me about it. I told her sarcastically that you don’t need to book it first, by the first week, I’m sure that nobody will wanna watch it and that we can simply walk in the cinema and buy the tickets. But reluctantly I bought the tickets online anyway. And dragged my ass to the cinema to watch it last Sunday night, expecting to be bored to tears.

Let me set my expectation first. I DO NOT want to see another “look, I can speak perfect Cantonese like the Hongkies!” movie, nor do I need to see another “look, I can speak perfect Mandarin like the Taiwanese / Chinese” movie. I think we can safely put that aside, because to be fair, modern day Malaysian Chinese movies / serials uses a lot of local Malaysian elements in their production. Just look at Iron Lady, a thoroughly engaging and sensational Malaysian serial that got me hooked to the TV set for a while. And that’s saying a lot, because I do not watch TV, other than the occasional Spongebob Squarepants cartoons.

Even then, Iron Lady looks too Korean drama-like to my liking. And the accent still sounded, well, like a Singaporean. So when I watched Tiger Woohoo, I was expecting at least a similar kind of acting and directing, if not worse. I’m glad to say that not only was I terribly wrong by a mile, I came out of the cinema highly entertained!

I watched the show in Mines. I bought the tickets online on Friday, 2 days before the show. At that time, I can still select some pretty good seats. But when I reached the cinema, the hall was full! I was still expecting a low occupancy rate, especially in this not-so-famous cinema.

The show started at 7 pm sharp without any commercials. When we sat down it was already 1 or 2 minutes into the show. Yan Yan also followed us into the cinema. I was expecting Yan Yan to throw a tantrum midway into the show, so I could bring her outside and escape the show. In the end, Yan Yan did leave the cinema, but only because she wanted to go to the toilet. And I didn’t want to leave my seats, because the show was simply too engaging! So my wife had to bring her to the toilets.

Not wanting to reveal too much plot, let’s just summarize some of the points in this movie. This is basically a comedy, but not some mindless banter and stupid jokes, but very Malaysian jokes. You don’t get some lame monk dressed in orange asking for donations anywhere else but here in Malaysia! The acting by the main characters were believable (except for Jack Lim and Gan Mei Yan, IMHO). When they laugh, you laugh with them, and when they cry, your heart cries with them. I was touched on at least two occasions. Kudos goes to Royce Chan Chee Hong and Zhang Jie Yu, you guys shed the most realistic tears! I absolutely adore Zhang Jie Yu!! And I also love the character of Mindy, she is so sweet!

The cinematography and the editing were also very marvelously done! Each scene merged in seamlessly with the next, no sense of hanging, and it makes full use of the incredible scenary of Kampung Beserah, the place where this all takes place. Which takes me to the next point, the panoramic location where this location is set. The hut where the 4 little girls hide from their parents, the dried fish platform where Ah Huat practises his dance, they are all very authentic, very original, very Malaysian. But come on lar, why does all scenes with bridges always has to be filmed in Putrajaya?

Speaking of Ah Huat, you also get to see the outtakes at the end of the movie. Very normal lar for any comedies nowadays. But we also get to see a very painful stunt slip-up of Ah Huat, ala Jackie Chan style! OUCH!

This movie is made in Malaysia, by Malaysians, for Malaysians. A non-chinese Malaysian might also be able to enjoy this movie by looking at just the subtitles alone. There is a lot of scene with Malay dialogs thrown in too. “You boleh tukar nama you kar?!” The accents spoken by the actors are believable Malaysian, northern Malaysian mandarins always have the “goh”, “pun” and “tapi” thrown in. As another reviewer has already pointed out, this movie will have a hard time being understood by Hongkies, Taiwanese, or even our neighbour Singaporeans! Finally, something that belongs to us!

Strategic Product Placement

Fuhhhh, this movie is guilty of it, BIG TIME! Astro and Eu Yan Sang earn the biggest screen time. Followed by other more insignificant ones, but still visible. Spritzer mineral water, Mac, Volkswagon among others, but they were probably not intentional. See if you can spot more.

The first thing that came to our minds when the show was over was “When can we buy the show on DVD?” My wife has got a good point, if not us Malaysian Chinese, who else would be supporting them? And a damn good movie too! So what are you waiting for? Go catch it before it’s too late!