Chinese title: 辣死你媽!
Language: Several Chinese dialects, Malay, Manglish, Tamil
Running Time: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
Cast: Namewee, Adibah Noor, Karen Kong, Afdlin Shauki, Dato’ David Arumugam, Reshmonu, Kenny and Chee, Nadine Ann Thomas, Nur Fathia, Dennis Lau, Dian Sharlin, Pete Teo, Ho Yuhang, Felixia Yeap
Synopsis: “Young Chef Huang (Namewee) struggles to get his restaurant business going because he cannot adapt to the ‘localized’ cooking his patrons are looking for. However, contradict to his unpopular cuisine, he is also well-known as ‘Hero Huang’ in the local neighborhood where he carries out good deed in helping the community until he met Xiao K (Karen Kong) who got him into deep trouble. In order to get his life and the restaurant business back on track, Chef Huang must now seek help from a mysterious hawker stall lady (Adibah Noor), who summons him to embark on the extraordinary journey of his life. During this self-enlightening experience, he will also meet many ‘local heroes’ each lending their support to help him re-discover his roots and the real hidden message of ‘Nasi Lemak” (Primeworks Studios).
Verdict: If it weren’t for the unoriginal plot and poor ending, it could have been a Malaysian masterpiece film. Despite the lack of budget for production, Nasi Lemak 2.0 is very well done. Convincing acting performance, good local sense of humour, and commendable attempt on educating viewers about multi-racial unity non-politically. Not to mention that it’s Namewee’s first time acting and directing a film. From watching Nasi Lemak 2.0, I could see that Namewee’s very Stephen Chow-influenced. Too much, however, to the point that the plot is very similar to Chow’s God of Cookery. The other downside of the movie is that it’s more of a local Chinese film more than anything else, which defeats its 1Malaysia purpose. Very pleased to see old timers like Kenny Chan (from the 90s sitcom “Baba dan Nyonya”) featured but surprised that local musician/actor Ah Niu wasn’t involved at all.
Negative Malaysian norms explored: Well these are all that I managed to spot; [SPOILER] Malay road bullies, stubborn traditional mindset of Chinese citizens, sudden electricity and water cuts, slow internet connection, most citizens lack of courage to help those in need hence minding their own business, slow services of restaurants, bright non-Muslim students unable to enroll into universities, authorities bias in favour of Malays, Chinese educated citizens speak poor English, typical Chinese disco goers, low salary, immigrants issues, Hang Tuah’s unsolved identity mystery, try-hard Japanese Malaysians, English educated Chinese (“bananas”) lack of confidence in speaking Chinese language, Kuala Lumpur a busy and unsettling city, some non-Chinese could speak better Chinese, how obsessed Malaysians are with online social media. [SPOILER ENDS]
Most significant and convincing message: Malaysian Chinese are Malaysians, not China-Chinese. So be a Malaysian.
Good concept but… it seems as though in the movie that only the Chinese are stubborn to make peace with other ethnics.
Fred Chong… is the co-producer, co-executive producer, co-score composer and co-writer of Nasi Lemak 2.0 and therefore worthy to be specially mentioned here.
Annoying theme song “Rasa Sayang 2.0”: Why did they have to make an annoying music out of a Malay folk song? Not to mention that it’s in Mandarin.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Second opinion: “Loved it. Would be hilarious if you could understand all the languages and dialects in the movie” (Iris Loong).
|(Namewee and Iris at the Gala Premiere of Nasi Lemak 2.0)|