Movie Review: Perfect Rivals
Competitive is the one thing that runs in the blood of all Singaporeans. The kiasu-ness war can be seen plastered all over the movie Perfect Rivals as the typical Chinese families spring to life in their rat race of being the best in their businesses. A predictable storyline nicely crafted with interesting characters, the awesomeness of each character is what saved the movie and made it worth watching. Especially if you need to laugh after a long day at work.
A light-hearted family comedy, Perfect Rivals tells of a story between two old flames, who have parted ways after the death of the Bak Kwa King, fighting to be the best Bak Kwa maker in the country. As competitors, the typical settings occur – their shops are next to each other, they both have children and their children fall in love, they use spy on each other, they try to outbeat each other, and then, well, ends up falling back in love, what else! The universal theme is always love, and it always works. In this case, it works exceptionally perfect for the story because of the diversity of each character.
Main characters Mei Mei (starred by Irene Ang) and Chen Hao (starred by Ha Yu) share a love-hate relationship way back since 28 years ago. Mei Mei is the reflection of today’s successful woman – powerful, authoritative and totally confident with her success. Chen Hao, on the other hand, leads a simple life trying to make a living with his two sons. Bringing together these two very different personalities creates a character conflict that makes the entire story captivating. More so when their children take on the same traits from their parents.
Pamelyn Chee and Mindee Ong play the role of Mei Mei’s daughters, one icy cold and stern while the other tomboyish and playful. While Taiwanese singer Stanlyn Hsu and Malaysian actor Josh Lai play the role of Chen Hao’s sons, one a drunken man and the other an autistic adult. Their children brings humour to the screen as the director focuses more on the rivalry between the pair. Other than that, the appearance of their children do not accelerate the storyline; it’s merely there to make things less boring. The same can be said of the forced-insert character of the masseur Monica Cheng (starred by Michelle Yim) who only appeared in one scene.
At the end of the day, laughters and lame jokes aside, Perfect Rivals does prove one thing: No matter how complicated we are as a person and what kind of history we have, we are people who needs love. And that’s the universal theme that saved this movie from being just another trash.
Note: Reviews are based on foundations stated HERE.