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I Not Stupid (2002) & I Not Stupid Too (2006) (Singapore

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:10 am
by hengcs

Before I review the latest movie,
I thought it would be good that I review the old one ...
anyway, it will be terse because I have watched it too long ago ... * naughty grin *



I Not Stupid (2002) (Singapore)

Director: Jack Neo
Cast: Po Ju Huang, Shawn Lee, Joshua Ang, Jack Neo, Xiang Yun

The official website ...
see
http://www.inotstupid.com.sg/inotstupid1/index.htm

My thoughts ...
-- If I recall correctly, it is the second highest grossing Singapore film locally ... in fact, it was so popular that a TV series and a comic was made out of it ...

-- Most remarkable is its 2 levels of interpretation and its various thought provoking messages (despite being a comedy)

(i) For non locals, it might be just another film about 3 kids and their family, and how they have to survive the educational system ... BUT for Singaporeans, there is another layer of interpretation, the parents do resemble the government in their styles/tactics/delivery; in fact, the parents of the wealthy kid is always dressed in WHITE (what an uncanny hint) ... hee hee ... and to be honest, the government has taken it very gracefully, and even reflect on the issues that were raised in the film ...

(ii) It does address a lot of issues in Singapore

e.g., at the individual level ... what is right and what is wrong; what should we do; who should we follow; the choices in life; etc ...
e..g, at the family and friends level ... what are the expectations and/or communications between parents and children; what are true friends ...
e.g., at the societal level ... what is social responsibility; "kiasu-ism" (the local term for "scared to lose"); Singapore's emphasis on English; cultural differences between the East and the West; tradition versus modernization, etc ...

e.g., educational matters ... the tough system; the streaming at an early age; the emphasis on English, Mathematics and the Sciences (as opposed to the arts) ...
e.g., career matters ... the issues of expatriates and foreign talents; work or family; etc ...
e.g., political matters ... about freedom of speech, about control, about elections, about strategies, etc ...

-- The song by the girl also sounded at the right time with very meaningful lyrics ...

-- Typical of his movies, the messages are usually good ... and so things have to end on a positive note ...


Conclusion:
Recommended ... even though I have to qualify that Singaporeans will likely love it much more (and see more to the story) than foreigners ... BUT, just to assure you, it has done reasonably well in the Asian market ... most probably because most Asian can identify with the way Asian families and parents are ...

Note: The DVD is available.

Re: I Not Stupid (2002) & I Not Stupid Too (2006) (Singapore

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:49 am
by hengcs


I Not Stupid Too (2006) (Singapore)

Director: Jack Neo
Cast: Shawn Lee, Ashley Leong, Joshua Ang, Jack Neo, Xiang Yun, Huang Yi Liang, Selena Tan, Johnny Ng and Nick Shen

What struck me initially was the English title ... ha ha
It is such a good use of "too" which sounds like "two" (the sequel) ... but strictly speaking, the characters are NOT a continuation of the 2002 film, although the cast is predominantly the same ...

The official site
see
http://www.inotstupid.com.sg/inotstupid2/index.htm
and
http://www.mediacorpraintree.com/instoo/

My thoughts ...

-- This time round, I thought the young cast did a remarkable job ... well done Joshua Ang, Shawn Lee, and Ashley Leong ...

-- The film managed to weave a few recent hot topics (which grabbed Singapore headlines) into the film ... so the events are kind of real ...
e.g., the issues about corporal punishment in schools (it did depict both sides of the story rather well)
e.g., the recording of a teacher abusing student and putting in on internet
e.g., the blogging charges recently

-- The opening lines are ...
When was the last time you were praised?
When was the last time you praise others?
It must be quite long ago ...

-- Like the previous one
... it does have several thought provoking issues (education system, parents & children, work and family, friends, etc)
... it does have SEVERAL touching scenes, esp towards the last half ...
... overall, it is positive, with well intended messages ...

What could be better ...
-- most notably, I felt that the "digital" additions to some scenes are redundant, and worse, it made the film lose a sense of reality ...
-- next, i thought the initial 20-30 minutes or so should be heavily edited and accelerated (i.e., the subplot about the primary school kid being "pregnant"; although the idea of "communication" is there, the jokes/humor is not very striking) ... Instead, the BETTER SCENES are in the last one and half hour or so ...
-- also, I thought the director could have let some scenes remain sad or dramatic; instead, there is always a comical touch to those scenes, which I thought "spoil the mood" for the film to become really touching
(I know it is a comedy, but I thought he was too unwilling to let the film becomes depressing even if it might be more effective ...)
-- finally, I thought occasionally some of the dialogues are too contrived/intentional (at times, even the local audience can guess what will be spoken)
e.g., the "hmm, ngg, ohh" scene

Conclusion:
Above average ... it would have been much better if the director has addressed those issues that I mentioned ... hmmm, I wonder if he had a test audience ... nonetheless, I still recommend the film for a watch ...

PS: My friend like this film ...