Last Sunday, missy and I went to GSC Mid Valley to catch the Malaysian/Taiwanese Movie – Abang Adik. I have read rave reviews about this tear-jerker and when I asked missy if she would like to watch it with me, she said ok as long as there are subtitles. The movie is predominantly delivered in Mandarin with a bit of Cantonese and Bahasa Malaysia throughout.
The words ‘Abang Adik’ directly translates to ‘elder brother younger sibling’ and it means ‘brothers’ in Bahasa Malaysia. This movie is a Malaysian-Taiwanese collaboration that is making waves across the globe. Directed by first-time Malaysian director Lay Jin Ong, this movie has been nominated in 7 categories at the 60th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei. The Best Leading Actor award was secured by Taiwanese actor, Wu Kang Ren who played the role of Abang. He delivered a powerful performance as the deaf and mute older brother while Malaysian, Jack Tan is Adi, the younger brother.
Abang Adik is set in present day Malaysia, and filmed in one of Kuala Lumpur’s most notorious districts – the back alleys of Pudu. From the start, one can see the love and bond that these 2 brother have for each other. To earn a living, Abang does menial jobs at the morning market, while Adi turns to petty crimes. Despite their differences and shared struggles, the pair are very close but their bond was tested by a tragedy.
What I enjoy about this movie is the auditorial senses that were featured in the movie like the busy traffic in the city and the sound of the Azan prayer that reverberated during important parts of the film.
I sobbed like mad during the last few scenes and before I know it, the lights came on and it was the end. Ashley was taken aback when she saw me sobbing away as I have not cried this much in a while. That’s how touching this movie is.
Wu Kang Ren’s performance as a man with speech and hearing disabilities is simply remarkable and impactful! As for Tan who is a newcomer, he successfully portrays a sibling trapped by circumstances. Other casts are a transgender (Ms. Money) played by Tan Kim Wang, social worker Jia En played by Serene Lim and April Chan as the Myanmar girl who is Abang’s love interest, played important roles in the movie. I am so, so proud of our Malaysian actors.
This movie touches on many issues that are relevant in our society like economic inequality. Abang Adik is an important film that all Malaysians must watch so that they can see for themselves, to know, and feel and empathize with the less fortunate.