Writer: Erny Suzira
Overall: 4.0 Out of 5
Cast: 4.0 Out of 5
Plot: 4.0 Out of 5
Effects: 4.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 4.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “The Kid from the Big Apple”
The Good, the Bad and the Chronic Disease:
Two years after the events from the first movie, New Yorker Sarah returns to Malaysia to visit her grandpa with her mother. The three of them now live in a condo, and face new challenges together. Sophia - Sarah's mother - is trying to reconnect with her past lover, Hao Nan, who is Sarah's father, meanwhile she and her daughter also have to deal with grandpa losing his memory day by day.
Though the second instalment of the movie still retains the emotional element and humour from the first movie, it is somewhat heavier and more poignant, and this is most of the time too due to grandpa having dementia, forgetting many things like the names of his long-time neighbours, or the fact that his wife had passed away thirty years ago, which is why, Sarah and Sophia are worried that they will be forgotten too.
Unlike the first movie which is a lot happier and lighter in tone, the second movie reminds us of the reality of getting old and what we, or our parents, might go through when we/they reach that certain age. The movie has a lot heart-breaking scenes and tear-jerking moments that will remind us on the importance of family.
The sub-title "Before We Forget" makes sense when you learn of the plot, but it doesn't need the main title anymore. In the first movie, the story focuses on Sarah and her grandpa, and how she, who was born and raised in America, tries to adapt to her parents' culture in Malaysia, thus the aptly titled "The Kid from the Big Apple".
This is because this movie highlights more on her mother, Sophia, and her rekindled love with Sarah's father, as well as her relationship with own father. In this movie, Sarah seems more like a supporting character, which is why the title doesn't really fit - unless the "kid" this time, is actually referring to the mother.
Acting-wise, Ti Lung and Tan Qin Lin are still a pair lovable grandparent-granddaughter duo, but the newly addition of Debbie Goh who replaced Jessica Hsuan as Sarah's mother from the first movie seems a bit awkward at first. Fans of the first movie would take some time to get used to the new replacement, but after you get through that stage, the movie becomes more natural.
Goh managed to deliver her role well, and not only that, she also seems to be more suitable as Sarah's mother due to her resemblance to the young actress.
Another newcomer is Shaun Tam, who is Ti Lung's real son, plays Sophia's lover, Hao Nan. He is the jerk from the first movie who lured Sophia into leaving her dad and going to America with him, but when the two faced financial crisis, he left her all alone in America while she was pregnant with Sarah.
One of the greatest highlights of the movie is its lovely soundtrack which fits every mood, scene and environment of the movie. The selection of music is truly calming and beautiful, and it intensifies the touching scenes even further.
In conclusion, the movie is a hard-hitting reality based movie filled with tear-jerking moments, warm family elements, and some cliched humour, but overall, it is a great movie to be enjoyed with your loved ones, and will definitely make you appreciate them more.
Best Watched With:
• Parents and grandparents, but remember to bring a box of tissues as well!
• Debbie Goh replaces Jessica Hsuan as Sarah's mother due to Hsuan's scheduling conflicts.
Cinema Online, 13 November 2017