( pic taken from http://www.icekacangpuppylove.com/movie-pic.html)
Had been anticipating this 100 % Malaysian made movie , largely filmed in a little town called Tronoh(near Ipoh). The official website's here. When I saw the trailer, I was still dazed by Woohoo the Chinese New Year comedy(which I wrote a short review on it here) and couldn't help comparing both of them. I was a little bit disappointed by Ice Kacang for these few reasons:
1. In the first few scenes, the child Botak, child Fighter fish and the other kids were very obviously just regurgitating what's on their scripts. Overall I think the children's performance should be more natural. Whereas Woohoo started off very well in captivating its audience in introducing its funniest character- Ah Beng. Fighter Fish's mischievous and nonchalant behaviours ( putting charcoal into Botak's customer's coffee and other actions which disregard people's comfort) put me off from the start. I couldn't help laughing all through WooHoo. On the contrary I was bored watching Ice Kacang.
2. The characters were too obvious on belonging to either the good side or the bad. I especially couldn't stand Ma Ling Shu and Ma Li Bing's mother - the woman who frequents Botak's dad's coffee shop, selling 3D to the villagers. Although Ma Ling Shu( the town bully, well into his teenage hood) have sidekicks who possess sizes on both ends of the spectrum, thus adding some element of comedy to the movie, some of the characters are redundant eg Fish Leong's character( Ma Li Bing).
3. The relationship chart in the movie is too complicated where guy A likes girl B, who likes guy C, who likes girl D, who likes guy E who likes girl B so on and so forth. You get the picture.
That said, there are some good points:
1. I like how Botak narrates the story.
2. I love the localness of the movie. For a moment, I thought that it's filmed in Ipoh (my hometown) and was pleasantly surprised until towards the 2nd last scene where Fighter Fish and her mother wait for their bus in a bus station and I heard workers shouting 'Ipoh, Ipoh!' , 'Taiping Taiping! " to attract customers. Nonetheless, it's still very heart warming seeing all the familiar buildings and scenes in the movie.
3. Good effort by by Ah Niu- the director, writer and actor of the movie.
4. Really impressive sketches and oil painting of Lee Sin Jie.
I'd give it a 2/5.
So far, nothing bad has been said about this movie. In fact, it has been well received in Hong Kong. I guess it's just not my cup of tea.