Sunday, 15 August 2010

I’m scared to watch PCK movie because it may kill me



Eugene from the production company that produced Phua Chu Kang The Movie had arranged two tickets for me to attend the movie’s “gala” premiere two weeks ago.

I told him I was taking my mother and sister. Oh, he said, he would arrange a third ticket for me. I told him not to because I was skipping the movie screening.

Eugene’s confusion was audible over the phone.

How could I not support the movie since I was the credited scriptwriter, he wanted to know.

I said I did support the movie (otherwise I wouldn’t be forcing my own flesh and blood to sit through it) – I just didn’t want to see it.

“Why?” Eugene asked.

As another friend put it when I told her I was avoiding the screening: “You damn chicken.”

Yes, I am.

I had seen the PCK movie trailer and was dismayed by the number of things in it that I didn’t write.



If a two-minute trailer could cause me so much stress, sitting through the 100-minute movie could give me a cardiac arrest. I’m not a young man any more.

This is not unprecedented. One of my first TV jobs was reviewing movies on Channel 5 back in 1994.

After every show, I would rush to call my girlfriend and ask her to review my review because I was terrified of watching myself on TV.

And even though I created and wrote the two TV series Ah Girl and Lifeline, I have never seen a single episode of both shows apart from the pilots.

Instead, I forced my girlfriend-turned-wife to watch the shows and review them for me.

The only shows I had worked on that I could bear to watch were those where I had some control over the editing and music. I guess I’m just a control freak.

Too bad for me I wasn't the executive producer and director of the PCK movie, like I was of the original TV show's final season.

About two hours after dropping my mother and sister off at the PCK movie screening, I called to ask them what they thought of the movie.

My mum said it was “not bad” and “meaningful”. Not exactly the ringing endorsement one would hope from one’s own mother.

My sis said she slept through most of the movie.

What?! How could she fell asleep in the middle of her big brother's movie at its “gala” premiere? That was just, well, rude.

Her excuse: It was like a Jack Neo movie and therefore, she was not the target audience.

As if to make me feel better, my sister said that many people (but not her) enjoyed Jack Neo movies and so the PCK movie should be very successful.

Of course that was our diabolical plan all along.

That was why long-time Jack Neo accomplices Boris Boo and Henry Thia were hired to direct and ham it up in the PCK movie respectively. It even has a lot of Hokkien and bad reviews like a Jack Neo movie.

Now if only it would make money like a Jack Neo movie.

I’m sending my wife to watch the PCK movie today. She better not fall asleep.

- Published in The New Paper, 15 August 2010

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