After a year’s hiatus, fans of local celebrity filmmaker Jack Lim’s Chinese New Year flicks should be glad to learn that he is back with another family-oriented festive flick.
Titled Huat The Fish, the movie takes viewers to Pulau Ketam, a small island near Port Klang where a rustic fishing village stands on stilts.
The plot revolves around the struggles of four bumbling fishermen – played by Lim, Jeff Chin, Alvin Chong and Juztin Lan – who have to resort to desperate means to clear their mounting debts. Unfortunately, they get into more trouble when they somehow cross paths with a bunch of real robbers in the midst of a major jewellery heist.
During a recent press conference, Lim, 40, spoke about why he decided to try making another CNY flick after taking a break in 2015.
“A lot of people asked why, but I decided to take a breather last year. My previous movies … Ah Beng: Three Wishes (2012) made RM7.55mil, Once Upon A Time (2013) made RM5.8mil, Ah Beng: Mission Impossible (2014) made RM4.3mil. Due to the deteriorating box office collection, people kept discouraging me from making more movies. So, we stopped for a year,” he explained.
“But, looking at the appalling box office numbers last year, there were still people who encouraged me instead, saying that my box office collection was actually not bad. The lowest one still took in more than RM4mil. So this year, we’re glad to tell our fans that our team is back in business,” declared Lim, who says he would be happy with a RM5mil haul for Huat The Fish.
Among the main cast is the 10-year-old child actor Houson Ng, who is a pint-sized Latin dance champ. One of his most memorable scenes in the movie was when he got slapped by his screen father played by Lim. “When I got slapped, I didn’t know where my brain and my heart went,” said the boy, who added that his mother cried when she watched the scene, which Lim said was “completed in one take with no cuts”.
Lim’s frequent collaborator and fellow deejay/actor, Chin, lightened the mood by taking a dig at himself. “Look at me, I’m the one who actually looks genuinely like a fisherman. If you see the folks at Pulau Ketam, you’ll realise that they mostly look like Wan Wai Fun and me. I’m sure you’ve never seen such handsome fishermen as these two,” remarked Chin, gesturing towards his co-stars Chong and Lan.
Produced by Josiah Chieng, Huat The Fish also co-stars other familiar local faces like Joe Chang, Bernard Hiew, Gan Mei Yan, Emely Poon, and even a cameo by fellow filmmaker Jaguar Lim.
Meanwhile, director Silver Yee admitted that Huat The Fish was his toughest shoot yet. “Ninety percent of it was shot in Pulau Ketam. While the actors were all out having fun and relaxing after each shoot, I had to hide away in my room to do extra work. This is the first time I gave 200 percent of my effort.”
Huat The Fish opens at cinemas nationwide today.