“When your loved ones can’t be with you forever, the only way is to etch them deeply into your hearts forever, so that they will never be gone”
– 凤飞飞 // Feng Fei Fei
Joi Chua [蔡淳佳], Liu Ling Ling [劉玲玲], Rahimah Rahim, Brandon Wong [黄炯耀], Shigga Shay, Michael Tan
Director Royston Tan returns to the big screen after 7 years with a musical revolving around Fong Fei Fei’s music. This movie revolves around FeiFei [Joi Chua] who acts as a parking attendant and the daughter of Uncle Radio [Michael Tan] who has a strong feeling with his rediffusion and is diagnosed with dementia in the later part of the movie. Fei Fei has always dreamed of becoming a singer, like her famous idol – the legendary Taiwanese singer Fong Fei Fei. With the reality being so cruel, she never had an opportunity to chase her dream. When Uncle Radio got diagnosed with dementia and her losing her job, Fei Fei decides to join a National Singing Competition so as to win the top prize of S$50000 to cover the medical and living expenses. Did she win it in the end? No one knows but she definitely capture the ears and hearts of the nation with her final song, 掌声响起.
The film provides plenty of funny and touching moments throughout. One thing that is worth bringing up is that both Joi Chua and Shigga Shay are making their debut on the big screen. I am pretty sure we have seen a lot of their singing and raps respectively but this is actually their acting debut. Definitely commendable!
Joi Chua’s first acting debut?! This was my first reaction when I knew it. There were times in the movie when she seemed pretty loss but I must say she did an awesome job in her debut. I really love how she covers Fong Fei Fei’s songs in the movie, especially her last song 掌声响起! One of my personal favorites actually! There were many touching moments in the movie when she had one-to-one with Michael Tan as her dad. I guess I loved the scene when he was patting her hair when she was lying on her bed. That scene touched me a lot. Her scenes with Michael Tan are definitely the highlights of the film!
Shigga Shay definitely made use of this opportunity by showing the audience what he does best by showcasing his rapping skills throughout the film. I guess two scenes in particular stands out. First was when he started rapping the milestones of the late Fong Fei Fei and her appearances in Singapore in the past three decades in front of the taxi drivers. Secondly was when he started rapping a long list of our usual kopitiam drinks order that ended up as his latest hit single ‘Ta Pau’. Acting as Liu Ling Ling’s son in the movie, both provided many laughing moments for me. As usual, you will see her in her over the top costumes! I think one touching moment was when she closed her eyes and started feeling Shigga’s face then telling him that no matter what happens, your looks will forever be etched in my heart. I almost cried at that moment.
However, there were times in the movie when I was pretty confused. There were some scenes that were pretty irrelevant. The question mark right now in my head is “Why did they intro Fei Fei’s ex-classmate, Fei Xiang?”. He barely played any part in the whole build up. Is there any hidden meaning? If there is, please enlighten me.
Another point to note is that the film does brings back a lot of memories and also a reminder to many disappearing icons in modern Singapore. Some examples are “summon aunties” in their hat and white uniform, the subscription cable radio service Rediffusion, old school kopitiams and Dakota Crescent which is pretty much empty and waiting to be re-developed right now. All in all, I still enjoyed the movie. I guess the touching moments definitely made up for everything. I was drawn into those moments so I must say the director did a really good job in capturing my heart? I really love the way the movie ended with Fei Fei singing her favorite song, 掌声响起 and how they did not explain certain things to keep us guessing.
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