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Lee Chong Wei

Opening Date
15 Mar 2018
125 mins
English / Mandarin / Malay with English, Chinese & Malay subtitles
Biography, Sports
Teng Bee
Tosh Chan, Mark Lee, Yeo Yann Yann, Jake Eng
Biopic on Malaysia’s badminton icon Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei, who was born in a poor family. Starting with his early years as an aspiring young badminton player from Bukit Mertajam, all the way to becoming a world champion. 
By Razi  05 Apr 2018
The eponymous film tells a linear tale of Lee's rise from lower SES to higher SES in all manners of the phrase.
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By now, you’ve seen many a biopic from the West. Stories of underdogs fighting against all odds to make something of their lives. But rare is the occasion when you’re able to appreciate a story a little closer to our shores – based on a character still going strong in the real world. With Lee Chong Wei, you get just that and what a performance it is.

Among Malaysia’s most successful athletes, Lee Chong Wei is an active national badminton player from the small town of Bukit Mertajam in Penang, Malaysia. The eponymous film tells a linear tale of his rise from lower SES to higher SES in all manners of the phrase. A precocious boy without the means to play the game, the movie unravels the events that inevitably lead to his development and strings of success with the help of mentors and at one point, an entire nation behind him.

Three years in the making, production values on this project seem astronomical given the amount of attention given to spot-on casting, set designs and cinematography. One may have never seen badminton romanticized into the thrilling machismo of Matrix-like back and forth battling in slow-motion before. Then again, with the training actors seem to have received, it is hardly necessary as audiences are treated in real-time to the deft footwork and artful flicks of wrist not commonly seen in regional cinema.

As if to match, the non-athletic aspects of performances displayed by the lead characters are well-weighted, balanced and only occasionally tip over to the melodramatic (thankfully in a way more similar to award-winning Thai ads than to a soap opera). 

While some surprises are best left to the experience of watching the film in a cinema, rest assured that this outing will be well worth it. Absolutely no surprises there.

(A special hat-tip to the filmmakers for showcasing the pride of Malaysia with a visually compelling movie even the neighbours can be proud of.) 
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