It has only been two years since Ola Bola
made waves in Malaysia and now director Chiu Keng Guan is back with another heartwarming movie which we think many Malaysians will love.
Inspired by the childhood fable called 'The Man, The Boy and The Donkey', Chiu's latest work Think Big Big
revolves around a small-town girl with big dreams, and she happens to be plus-sized. (You can read more about the director's inspiration for the story here
The movie was produced by Astro Shaw, Golden Screen Cinemas, Multimedia Entertainment and MM2 Entertainment, and it will be out in cinemas nationwide on 15 February, just in time for Chinese New Year.
We had the opportunity to catch Think Big Big
a week earlier before the official release, thanks to Astro Shaw, and here are a few things we love from the movie.
#1 The Story
As mentioned, Think Big Big
tells the story of a plus-sized girl Moon who has always had big dreams of becoming an astronaut since she was a child.
Growing up in a small town, she lives a worry-free life with two loving parents who supported her in everything that she does. She moves to the city and began working as a mascot talent in an outdoor theme park, a job she is content with because she loves bringing joy to people.
One day, Moon's young adult life started shaking when she is suddenly hit by a mountain of debt. In order to solve her newfound problems, she decides to join a competition to lose weight. This reality competition also requires her to share her fitness journey on social media, and this is where the roller-coaster ride begins.
The happy-go-lucky girl slowly transforms into a socialite who is driven almost entirely by her social media followers.
The story may seem simple at the beginning, but as the plot unfolds, Moon's life brings you through a journey that is so relatable, you would probably have experienced at least one situation or conversation portrayed in the movie. By the end of it, you will be left with tears of laughter and maybe even some emotional ones too.
#2 The Characters
This may sound far-fetched, but we dare say that almost every single character you see in Think Big Big
is a friend that we need in our lives.
You've got the cheerful Moon, the 'big sister' Vivienne, the 'sweet guy' Fabian, the tough-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside Ruby and the soft-spoken Keigrey. The conversations that this bunch of girls (and one guy) have will leave you nodding your heads several times throughout the movie, like the 'period' talk.
And last but not least, how can we forget Moon's loving parents whom she fondly addresses as 'leng zhai
(handsome boy) and 'leng lui
' (pretty girl)? We don't know about you but we cannot imagine calling our parents that instead of the more respectable terms or else we would risk getting smacked in the head.
Nevertheless, director Chiu has certainly written a group of unconventional characters that bring a breath of fresh air to local movies.
#3 The Message
'Dream big' is obviously the running theme of Think Big Big
. But besides pushing us to have dreams that are larger than life, the movie also speaks a message that today's society need to hear now more than ever.
We love the truth portrayed in the latter half of the film which highlights the world of social media and how it can both build a person up and tear a person down, as seen in Moon when she becomes 'The Nation's Goddess'. Her obsession with getting people to 'like' her eventually leads her to spend more time doing live broadcasts on her social media rather than with her real friends.
In a world where we often measure the value of a person by the number of followers and likes they have on Instagram and Facebook, it is easy to keep chasing after what other people want more than what we ourselves want.
But at the end of the day, what matters most is to just be yourself, and everything else will fall into place, including the people in your life who are far more important than a stranger who just commented on a picture of what you had for dinner yesterday.
#4 The Language
The dialogues in Think Big Big
are mainly spoken in Mandarin Chinese because it zooms into the Chinese culture in Malaysia. But since we boast of a melting pot of culture in our country, you will also hear bits of Cantonese, Hakka and Hokkien, which will give those who understand these dialects a good laugh.
We particuarly love the fact that in the movie, Moon's parents speak to each other in Cantonese but to her in Mandarin, which we feel a lot of Malaysian millennials can relate to.
#5 The Production
Director Chiu is renowned for his ability to capture the beauty of common local destinations on film, like The Journey
and Ola Bola
, many of which have slowly become popular tourist spots in Malaysia.
In Think Big Big
, his work with cinematographer Yong Choon Lin and art director Soon Yong Chow will leave you in awe. The scenic visuals and skilled cinematography seen especially in Moon's hometown, which were filmed in Chiu's hometown in Bukit Pelanduk, Negeri Sembilan, remind us that we still have so many places in Malaysia that we have yet to explore.
Most of the locations featured in the movie have already been made public, but there is one place that we are dying to find out - Moon's house.
She lives in what looks like a loft, and the best part is that it has a rooftop where she hangs with her friends. Not only that, this place also has an attic, which she transformed into a lookout point!
The only clue we have is an exterior of the building during one of the scenes in the movie, so director Chiu, if you're reading this, please tell us where this building is because we want to move in right away!
Think Big Big
no doubt tells a story that resonates among all Malaysians, so be sure to bring along your friends and family to catch this movie this Chinese New Year!