I, and probably most Malaysians (and possibly South-East Asians), was pleasantly surprised to find that this was in fact a "Malaysian" movie made by a mainly HK cast and crew. The award for best screenplay was well-deserved for its authentically-researched "Malaysian" script and setting. And the fact it won awards and critical acclaim in HK movie industry showed that HK did not hold the "purist" attitudes that mainland China and other regional movie industries have.
Yes, I'm talking about the mainly Cantonese dialogue. Many Malaysian ethnic-Chinese are native Cantonese speakers, but the way they incorporated various Malay and other words/ accents into their speech is just as "notorious" as the way HK Chinese incorporated various English and other words/ accents into their speech. And just like mainstream Chinese cinema audience did a double-take when they heard a mish-mash of Mandarin accents in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", I was frequently jolted back into Malaysia by the mish-mash of Cantonese accents.
But apart from the dialogue, it also gets alternative/ art cinema credit for its naturalistic style of filming-- almost the opposite of Hollywood's so-called "realism" with "balanced/ well-made" characters/ plots/ themes/ etc. Because watching a family/relationship disintegrate is very much like watching a train-wreck in super-slow motion, with most of its sleeping passengers slowly waking up. If you have been cursing the father throughout the whole movie, the final scene with the son is especially heart-breaking.
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