Singapore's top grossing film, Money No Enough is about three
friends of different background who ends up facing the same
problem of surviving in a cash-strapped society where lack of
money can bring endless problems. The film stars Chew Wah Keong(
Jack Neo ) who is a white collar but a spend thrift. Ong (Mark
Lee) a contractor and Hui (Henry Thia) a coffee shop waiter
who has a crush on his customer...
There must be a reason why this movie remains to
be Singapore’s all time highest grossing movie. With
over $5.8 million box office takings, the movie must have
struck a chord with viewers, considering no other local production
has surpassed the title in the past 10 years. And as we watched
the Jack Neo written, Tay Teck Lock directed movie, the only
thought that crossed our minds was: what timeliness.
you remember, the movie was released in cinemas in May 1998,
in the face of the Asian financial crisis. With the looming
deterioration of the global financial markets and its impact
on Singapore’s economy, the relevance of watching this
movie now seems greater. And it doesn’t matter if the
hairstyles and fashion looks dated, because the problems of
not having money in our fast moving society are timelessly
portrayed in the picture.
96 minute movie tells the story of three Singaporean men who
come from different backgrounds but face the same dilemma
of “money no enough” in the harshly demanding
scenarios painted in the movie are realistically poignant:
lack of academic qualifications, computer illiteracy, installments,
obsession with mobile phones, rising costs of medical fees,
the true meaning of filial piety and a whole long list of
other “uniquely Singaporean” subject matters which
a true blue Singaporean will can feel connected to. That is
probably the reason why this movie managed to resonate with
local viewers, spurring it to achieve an unsurpassed box office
use of familiar terms in Mandarin, English and Hokkien is
probably another reason why this movie is a crowd favourite.
Sure, the language used may be coarse (see that consumer advice
on the DVD cover), but Singaporeans love it when they see
a realistically portrayed character spouting Hokkien vulgarities.
Jokes that take jabs at the government are Neo’s trademark,
and that never fails to make the heartlander viewers happy.
with his trusted companions Mark Lee (Ah Long Pte Ltd, Just
Follow Law) and Henry Thia (Money No Enough 2, I Do I Do),
the three men give earnest and true performances which make
you feel like you are witnessing a familiarly average Singaporean
going through financial woes. While there isn’t much
fancy camera work or showy production values to boast of,
this movie stays grounded to work as a successful satire of
the local culture, and earning a rightfully respected place
in the history of Singapore’s growing film industry.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains a 34 minute The
Making-Of shot during the 10th year commemorative
screening of Money No Enough was held in April 2008 at GV
VivoCity. Neo and other cast members talk about what the film
has done for their careers, and we see get to pin a face to
the director. Shame on you, those thought that it was Neo
who directed the movie. Included on the disc is also a Trailer
for the movie.
The disc’s visual transfer maintains
the grainy and dated look of the film (there is one section
which looks dubiously re-mastered digitally with re-recorded
audio though) and the audio track is presented in its original
Mandarin, English and Hokkien dialogue.
by John Li