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Written by Funn Lim


"Fann Wong tried a little harder in the comedy department, at times seems a bit stretched and you could lose a bit of your patience since her English is not really great whilst Gurmit tried a little harder in the drama department, at times seems a bit forced but still enjoyable."




SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!






I just saw this movie, which I was very eager to watch, after all it is a Jack Neo movie, it talks about civil servants (who are very similar to us in Malaysia, howevr much we might like to deny it) and it stars my most favourite Asian actress, Fann Wong in what everybody said a breakthrough role of sorts.

Indeed it was.

I am not going to talk about the story. You can read them all HERE where you can find plenty of videos also. I would like to comment about the movie and performances itself.

For one, I think the story is of course done to death but with a twist. Those hoping for a romance between the two leads will be sorely disappointed. It is more like the theme that you'll never know how the other feels until you walk in their shoes. This takes a step further; aftera freak accident in part caused by Lim Teng Zui (Gurmit Singh), he and Tanya Chew (Fann Wong) swapped souls and they had to adapt to each other's lifestyles. Tanya, now Teng Zui had to learn to see things in Teng Zui's point of view. In a rather nice twist, instead of feeling depressed and desperate to exchange back their souls, Tanya realised as Teng Zui she had little future since he has no qualifications. So she actually went for further studies, to improve herself as Teng Zui. Teng zui meanwhile now in Tanya's body was busy goggling over naked women, showing off his newfound sexy body and basically ruining Tanya's credentials, finally realised how useless he was as a father when his daughter was in an accident and needed $1,000-00 for hospitalisation deposit and he didn't have the money, and it was Tanya who paid it first and Tanya said he was a useless father because he can't even afford this sum. Teng Zui woke up and actually tried to salvage the situation.

The entire point of the movie is not whether can they swap back their souls, but rather learn the viewpoint of the other. If you must know, they never did swap back roles. Tanya wanted to reconnect with her mother, and Teng Zui wanted to be with his daughter, but Tanya's mother obviously couldn't recognise Tanya is not Tanya and Teng Zui's daughter couldn't understand what was happening and see Tanya as her father. So in the end they married one another. I thought that was a depressing ending but still a useful one.

The performances in here I can safely say is both entertaining and top notch.

Gurmit Singh really excelled as the rude, classless and lazy Teng Zui who was as Tanya transformed into a very soft spoken and even walked like a girl. His hair suddenly combed neatly and even his skin looked exfoliated. I thought he was really good as Fann Wong, he was really funny and maybe he wasn't really like Fann Wong but there is a very big change. Kudos to him too for speaking English, Malay, Mandarin, Hokkien and even some Cantonese if I remembered correctly. Some scenes were heartfelt, some embarassing of course. I will elaborate more later.

Fann Wong was revolutionary in her performance. Not many could take on this role, to have such a major transformation and it shows that she wishes to challenge herself as an actress and to me she rose to the occasion at most times, sometimes faltering simply because she was trying to hard and she doesn't really have comedic timing but well, she tried. She totally changed into an unrecognisable Fann Wong. Whilst many thought she overshadowed Gurmit Singh, I thought they complimented one another. As Tanya, she was serious, steady and strict. And when she became Teng Zui, she actually behaved like Gurmit's famour altar ego, Phua Chu Kang! It was scary to see Fann Wong so deep in her role, as she grabbed her breasts (Teng Zui said he was molesting Tanya's body you see), flaunting her body in a red bikini and goggling over naked women, one even had her breasts pressing against Fann Wong's face! Her script were totally rude but not with those dirty words. The dialogues are decently clean but the way she spoke it, her animated expression suddenly so very Gurmit Singh. Her tearful confession as to how useless she was as a father (as Teng Zui you see) was a good scene but her best had to be her imitation of Gurmit. One of the scariest had to be her ih a skirt at the bus stop and sitting with her leg up. Guys was looking between her legs and she was like "What you're looking at?! Look! Look!" and she even lifted her bum higher and parted her legs wider!! I also like those gestures like how Tanya in Teng Zui's body was shocked to find out Teng Zui in Tanya's body wasn't wearing a bra and Gurmit Singh actually pull Fann Wong's shirt and peered inside! Very natural reaction but shocking. I think Fann Wong really went all out, and so did Gurmit Singh in one scene where he was peeing and she looked at you know where.

But the overdone scene had to be the Gurmit bathing Fann scene. Lucky Gurmit, scrubbing her back, her upper chest area, her thighs, her ears... at first funny, then weird and then too long. But this kinda show how far Fann went with this role and it is refreshing.

Other characters complimented this series. For one, Moses Chan and gang of senior civil service men were mean and also enjoyable to watch. Each character contributed to the story and I must say almost perfect casting. I really like Teng Zui's 2 best friends, one a chinese that closely resembles Mark Lee (whom I thought should have been cast in that role) and the other a chubby Malay guy who probably had the best line when one old Chinese guy had a heart attack and suggestions were made that maybe he should give that old man mouth to mouth and the first thing he said was "Halal ke?". Really funny. Some scenes are just classic, like how complaints in inter departments is never face to face but through emails that are depicted as shotting arrows. How true! And I think there was one on what CC and BCC in an email means; a mish mash of English and Hokkien which was really really funny. But the best had to be the one where Tanya and Teng Zui wanted to put some banners on the MRT pillars (I mean the highway pillars with MRT tracks) and they shuffled between I think 4 or 5 departments which was simply classic and how true. Other funny ones and how truly reflect how close we are to the Singaporeans were the Indian security guard (he actually clamped a fire engine for parking at the VIP box because his boss said no cars except for VIPs in the VIP box!), the bored mother of Tanya who took up computer classes and has her own blogspot called Laozhabo.blogspot.com (very funny!) and that young civil servant who really stuck to the rules; want air cond after work? Put in application form in duplicate and then CC to this, to that, to her and then wait 3 months!

I don't know about you but I think this movie is hilarious. My most favourite scene had to be the one where Tanya, Teng Zui and 2 friends performed to the music at almost the end. I couldn't stop laughing!

But there are moments in this movie that felt like typical Jack Neo movie. It gets a bit preachy towards the end, he had to have a lesson to tell and the editing for this movie is quite bad, like it was rushed when if cleaned up a bit could have smoothness between the scenes and some scenes lingered too much on Fann Wong, as in groping, showering, bikini, having her in awful makeup, etc that well since he paid her millions, he must use her to the hilt. I think subtleness is not this movie's main strength but for what it lacked in smoothness in editing, original storyline or even subtlety that gave way to sometimes rather brash humour, it is a very funny look at two people who swapped souls and who worked in the civil service which is more like some triad.

One major complaint though; Fann Wong's performance could have been shattering as in even better than best if only her command of the English language were better. She seems limited by her command of the language but she does make an effort and I think her English is way way wayyy better than most actors I have seen, even if with a Singaporean accent. Gurmit Singh suffers the same problem, this time for Mandarin which is why he had limited dialogue in Mandarin but he made an effort and I thought both of them were decent in their not so good grasp on the languages. But one great compliment; they totally threw out their inhibitions and played off each other very well. Fann Wong tried a little harder in the comedy department, at times seems a bit stretched and you could lose a bit of your patience since her English is not really great whilst Gurmit tried a little harder in the drama department, at times seems a bit forced but still enjoyable.

I believe this movie is a breakthrough movie for both Fann and Gurmit and I congratulate them for bringing life to these two roles.

Now I just hope Jack Neo would just shorten the movie, get a better editing team, spend a bit more time on some scenes, be less preachy and concentrate less on social commentary and just make a movie that just so happens to have social commentary. His narration of the movie and in some scenes some effects were intrusive and worse was he was whispering when he was narrating whicb annoys me to no end. If he just leaves the movie alone, it would have been his best film. To me his best film is I Not Stupid.

I must compliment him on the title, Just Follow Law. It is actually in mandarin, Jiu Gen Lor, as in Just Follow Lor since Singaporeans and Malaysians love to add lor and lar to the end of every sentence, like what Americans who like to say "you know". The chinese title kinda lost it zing. Other cultures may not understand this movie much and may not find some jokes that I thought were hilarious as funny but in itself it is still an enjoyable movie.

Don't miss this one especially if you're a fan of Fann or Gurmit.

Verdict
The movie itself may falter a bit in part due to Jack Neo's overeagerness to put a message to every single action and sometimes bad editing and unnecessarily long lingering scenes as well as really long winded to the point in the middle the laughs stopped to a complete halt, the performances itself and the jabs at civil servants really saved this movie from boredom. Kudos must be given to Gurmit, Fann and fellow cast members and Jack Neo should thank his lucky stars that he has got a strong cast, if not this movie could have been like I Do, I Do.

Best Line(s)
It is not whether you can or not, it is whether you dare or not.

You don't know two things. Don't know this and don't know that.

Asked to do CPR, the Malay guy asked "Halal ke?"

And those on the CC, BCC and Teng Zui's 5 Bs. Just watch the movie for the gems.

Confusing Stuff
Why bother with English subtitles for English dialogue when the dialogue AND the subtitles are world's apart? So confusing, so distracting.

Big Mistake
Maybe but it could be product placement. One scene clearly showed Fann Wong's poster ad for Moon Abalone. And of course stacks of Moon Abalone in one scene. Definitely product placement.

Observation
Even without much make up, Fann Wong looks great although a bit older. Her skin is still flawless and I must compliment her for that. It's in her genes I guess. Moses Lim looked slimmer. Xando must have worked.




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