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Nasi Lemak 2.0 (2011)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 163 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 2 critic

Chef Huang embarks on a journey to hunt for the best Nasi Lemak recipes and the hardships (and laughter) he's going through.

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Title: Nasi Lemak 2.0 (2011)

Nasi Lemak 2.0 (2011) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Karen Kong ...
Xiao K
Adibah Noor ...
Kak Noor
Datuk David Arumugam ...
Curry Master (as Dato David Arumugam)
...
Fisherman
Dennis Lau ...
Lan Qiao
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chee ...
Baba
Yuhang Ho
Kong Karen ...
Xiao K
Kenny ...
Nyonya
Dennis Lau ...
Lan Qiao
Seng Tat Liew
Mohamad Nadzif ...
Security Guard
Namewee ...
Chef Huang
Reshmonu ...
Hero Resh
Nadine Ann Thomas ...
Curry Daughter
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Storyline

Young Chef Huang (Namewee) struggles to get his restaurant business going because he cannot adapt to the 'localized' cooking his patrons are looking for. However, contradictory to his unpopular cuisine, he is also well-known as 'Hero Huang' in the local neighborhood where he carries out good deeds in helping the community until he met Xiao K (Karen Kong) who got him into deep trouble. In order to get his life and the restaurant business back on track, Chef Huang must now seek help from a mysterious hawker stall lady (Adibah Noor), who summons him to embark on the extraordinary journey of his life. During this self-enlightening experience, he will also meet many 'local heroes' each lending their support to help him re-discover his roots and the real hidden message of 'Nasi Lemak'. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

8 September 2011 (Malaysia)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

MYR 1,000,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Rasa Sayang 2.0
Performed by Namewee and Karen Kong
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User Reviews

 
This slice of modern Malaysian life is flawed, but worth seeing
17 September 2011 | by (Penang, Malaysia / Chicago, USA) – See all my reviews

To really appreciate this movie, there must be two conditions: you either are Malaysian, or at least know what is going on in our country as of late, in a political sense. I'm a Malaysian, and I'm glad I saw this movie.

The Malaysian film industry is in a sad state. I hate to admit it but it's true. Many of the local-made films are tailor-made mostly for certain races, and doesn't even try to integrate into others'. Many of the local movies rely on slapstick, frothy humor to entertain the audience where the ugly truth that it is just overused, lame and stupid that people don't want to see them. Our industry's "thriving" success mainly comes from English - quote "Hollywood" - films. With Yasmin Ahmad's unfortunate death, Malaysia is in dire need of another daring mainstream filmmaker who's not afraid to tread serious ground.

Enter controversial Taiwan-educated, Malaysian-born rapper Namewee who makes his feature film debut throwing a triple-punch (starring/directing/co-writing) here in this simple, light-hearted and frothy slapstick comedy (fantasy too, perhaps?) that touches some sensitive ground along the way - issues perhaps familiar only to Malaysians, involving racial tension, inequalities, and intolerance, yet these traits are all laid into the background as Namewee wants the audience to sit back, chill, and laugh. He succeeds.

The local actors and a variety of languages, races, and style of humor mostly blend in nicely, making this the closest thing to a true "Malaysian" movie since Yasmin Ahmad's great "Sepet" where people of all races integrate into a peaceful and (in this film's case) lively tale. The local celebrity cameos such as Afdlin Shauki, Adibah Noor, Reshmonu, Nadine Anne Thomas and Dato' David Arumugam don't detract the film either.

The story goes along the all-too familiar lines of a cooking competition between siblings in which the victor gets ownership of a restaurant, and Namewee plays an arrogant chef who participates against a pure Chinese chef. By using a simple and easily accessible plot-line, Namewee frames the country's social problems and commentary around it and deconstructs them one by one, it is refreshing to see Malaysians acting like real Malaysians and not playing the fool too much like in many, many Malaysian movies (that has jokes that simply fall flat because of this).

There are some flaws (let's face it, what movie doesn't?) The Malay, Nyonya and Indian segments were kind of short and I wish they had more/equal time to focus on those. There are a few characters that are too foolish to be funny. There's random musical moments and fantasy sequences, and some of the humor sort of falls flat, but Namewee manages to succeed for the most part, as he promotes peace and unity in our country in quite an honest manner.

You gotta understand, the Bersih 2.0 protests (regarding clean and fair elections, in which our government responded by shutting down parts of the capital Kuala Lumpur, and heavily enforcing police rule) which were months ago are still lingering in our memories, and the stereotypes of other races causes mistrust and misunderstanding us. Namewee is telling us to chill, relax and get along, as well as respecting and appreciating other people's cultures. This is what we need, to laugh our problems behind us. There's this other local campaign known as "1Malaysia" which was created to promote unity and tolerance among us Malaysians. This film, I guess, can be a small but important reminder for us to move towards that promise.

This film isn't as controversial and daring as "Sepet" but it is still a bold and noble effort for a first-time filmmaker who in his film presses issues that are considered taboo in conservative media. I've seen radical Malaysian bloggers threatening to boycott this movie. For what, I ask? It's a comedy with some slice-of-life. It's fun and it teaches some.

And what about Namewee? Well his performance was funny, and makes for a good local comic lead. He's also quite adept behind the camera, handling the other actors with a light-hearted touch. And he and co- writer Fred Chong manage to conjure up lots of funny lines in the script (one of the characters has a name which is almost exactly like a Mandarin swear word). In short, a good start. And the rap song at the end really speaks out for all of us Malaysians.

Recently Malaysia's PM had announced to abolish two security laws, an act which may pave the way for our country to be a more mature democratic one. This is good for freedom of speech here, and perhaps the movies here from then on will touch on more sensitive issues in a serious manner. "Sepet" was perhaps the first big push, and "Nasi Lemak 2.0" is the second. We now await the next one.

So in short, it's an above average local comedy, and definitely not bad at all - but it may be an important movie for Malaysia right now. Namewee has made a flawed but entertaining and somewhat daring comedy that isn't afraid to tackle issues, yet it teaches us as well to be tolerant and respectful of other races. I hope many Malaysians will watch and appreciate the movie for what it can offer them - laughs and some lessons to be learned. Already in it's second week in cinemas here and it's still selling out at the local box office. That's a good sign, and judging from the real-life events above, a promising start for Namewee's mainstream filmography, and here's hoping for the revitalization of the Malaysian film industry as well. This slice of modern Malaysian life is flawed, but worth seeing.

Overall rating: 65/100


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