Tomorrow will be your last chance to show some support for this charming local film – it’ll be its last day in cinemas.
The two final screenings for Ice Kacang Puppy Love will be at GSC Midvalley and TGV Sunway Pyramid tomorrow, 6:45pm, and if you haven’t watched it yet, it’s time to go book your tickets.
The movie, which is mostly in Mandarin (of course with subtitles lah), tells the story of Botak, a young man living in a small Penang village, and is based on director and producer Ah Niu’s own experiences growing up. And oh, he plays Botak in the film too.
It is a funny yet touching tale of friendship, romance, family ties and life in little Malaysia.
Botak has been in love with his childhood friend pretty much all his life, the tomboy-ish girl next door (literally, they live under the same roof) played by the magnificent Lee Sinje.
But Lee’s character, known only by her nickname “Fighting Fish” in the movie, has her own struggles. She grew up blaming her mother for taking her away from her father, an abusive alcoholic, something she was too young to remember.
The quaint Malaysian village is captured beautifully as both stories unfold, and the side-cast of Botak and Fighthing Fish’s other childhood friends add plenty of humour to the show.
Plus the friends are played by some of the biggest names in our Malaysian Chinese entertainment scene. Singers Gary Chaw, Fish Leong and Victor Wong were among the more prominent characters, while Nicholas Teo and Penny Tai had cameo appearances.
It’s only Ah Niu’s first shot at directing, and to be honest, I thought it was going to be terrible. I mean, he’s the dude that sang that “Dui Mian De Nu Hai” song, and his stage name is Ah Niu for goodness sake. It means cow in Mandarin, btw.
It’s hard to take him seriously, especially when he never does either.
But he’s definitely proved me wrong. Not only did he put in a matured, restrained performance as Botak, one to rival the much more experienced Sinje, but he’s also put together a darn good film that’s entertaining, moving and a great representation of a facet of Malaysian culture that is often neglected.
During a Q&A session recently, Ah Niu said that he found it difficult to compete with foreign commercial films, and that he saw a poster for Ice Kacang being sandwiched between Iron Man 2 and Ip Man 2 at a cinema recently.
“A movie ticket now would cost around RM10. I can imagine if I was going to the cinema, and I see a poster for Iron Man 2, and I see another one for my movie, I’d probably go for the Hollywood movie too,” he said in his usual modest manner.
But I’ve seen all three of those movies, and to be completely honest, I enjoyed Ice Kacang the most. Of course, I’m biased being a Malaysian who also grew up in a village; but I’m guessing a lot of you out there will be too, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.