Before the weekend arrives, and my fellow Chinese Malaysians celebrate Gong Xi Fa Cai, I would like to take your attention to a rather nondescript movie called Tiger Woohoo.
It is not a Hongkong movie nor a mainland China movie nor a Taiwanese movie.
It is a true blue Malaysian movie produced by Woohoo Pictures and Tayangan Unggul.
I have to congratulate the makers of this film, because it is both entertaining and refreshing, and even though nearly 100% of its cast (marring a scene with Malay cops) is Chinese and so was its dialogue (a smattering of BM here and there), it has a very Malaysian feel to it.
I won’t critique its weak plot because as a local movie, it holds very well against ALL other local movies.
The actors, most of them from the Astro Chinese drama department stable, performed admirably, especially Gan Mei Yan as Ah Lian.
The story is also very simple, a group of city misfits (out of work security guard, an effeminate failed fashion designer and a noodle seller who can’t say no) taking a chance in the small village of Berserah in Pahang.
In actual fact, Ah Lian, the granddaughter of a famed Tiger Dance practitioner tricked them into trying out for the Tiger Dance troupe which according to local legend is performed only once every 60 years.
These guys think that they would be paid handsomely but found out the Ah Lian has no money to pay for their services and is doing so to make her grandfather’s wish of creating a new Tiger Dance troupe for the village a reality.
Directed by Beijing Film Studio alumni, Chiu Keng Guan, the movie weaved a very pleasant story for all Malaysians to enjoy.
What I was really impressed was that Tayangan Unggul, in their first attempt at producing a Chinese language Malaysian movie, promoted Chinese culture in a very entertaining, positive and effective manner.
Its morality play too was handled quite well and did not leave a sour taste as most local movies tend to do.
The movie has been screened for nearly a month now, and is still attracting viewers who are catching it after hearing good word of mouth about the movie. If it goes into the Chinese New Year holidays, I’m sure the movie will rake in more money for the producers, and as it is, Tiger Woohoo is currently the best non-Malay local movie box-office performer ever in Malaysian history having already coined more than RM2 million.
I hope the movie-going public would give it a go before it is taken from the local circuit, especially the non-Chinese crowd who are willing to pay for something local and good.
Truth be told, Tiger Woohoo is better than any movies made by Prof Razak Maidin and Ahmad Idham, eventhough their movies make more money.
Culturally and cinematically, Tiger Woohoo is one of the better Malaysian movies made in recent years.