I managed to squeeze some time out today to watch "Filial Party", as I have promised Boris Boo, the director, that I will do so.
I was suitably entertained by the well researched local stories that I think the heartlanders and common people in Singapore would relate very well to. They are little stories surrounding parents, children's emotional baggage of their parents passed and living, money, materialism, middle-age joblessness, old age senility, extra-marital affairs... etc. All told through big comedy expressions popular in Malaysia and Singapore.
In think Boris' jokes are a little more subtle and less slapstick as those of Jack Neo, a local film maker who has consistently scored at the box office. I like the dialogue of mixed languages of English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Malay and Tamil - that offers the feel of street level Singapore. However, I wonder if those outside Malaysia and Singapore would be able to follow the dialogue or would find the linguistic cocktail amusing enough to embrace. For more about the use of standard language or otherwise, click here.
In short, the story is about a reality show that requires its participants to demonstrate their filial piety to their parents - in the process going through the sub-plots of sob stories and dilemmas - many of which question the moral fabric of today's society.
Lastly, like many other local productions, product placements are strong in this movie and one can certainly be forgiven for thinking of it as a Prudential Show at some point. A bit of subtlety would have been helpful, as research shows that subliminal advertising is way more effective. Perhaps the sponsors did not see it that way.
Overall, I think the movie is much better than what was said in the Straits Times film review. I like my film to both entertain and inspire, and that I think "Filial Party" has achieved!
How many star rating?
I don't know. I never believed in stars.