Just Follow Law


Reviewed by: Funn Lim

December 19, 2009

Rating: three

Previously posted at http://point2e-reviews.blogspot.com/2007/03/just-
follow-law-spore.html

Origin
Singapore

Language
Mandarin, Malay, Hokkien, English/Singlish

Comments
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.


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