Movies about schoolchildren this weekend.
For this weekend, I have the time to watch two movies since the haze is very bad out there and that forced me to stay indoor most of the time. Yes…another ‘two movies per week’ routine. Coincidentally, the two movies which are both released this year are about a group of schoolchildren. However, the themes of both film are totally in contrast, as one is a horror while the other is a warm drama. One is English-speaking film from US while the other is a Cantonese-speaking film from Hong Kong. Okay…till now, I still haven’t reveal the titles of the movies yet. They are ‘Cooties’ and ‘Little Big Master’.
‘Cooties’ is a horror comedy film about a mysterious virus that hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. A group of adults in the school compound which are not affected by the virus try to escape the terror from the flesh-eating kids. It’s a zombie-like film, but this time, you see kids portraying as the human-eating monsters rather than the adults. Very refreshing concept which is executed quite well with enough gore and exciting hide-and-seek scenes which are crucial for films like this.
The only thing I wish to argue is the reason they labelled the film as a comedy too. I couldn’t feel anything funny at all from the purposely inserted hilarious dialogues in the movie. It didn’t work. I prefer to just keep it horror all the way to keep the momentum going. In the end, the movie couldn’t hit the good-enough mark for the horror as well as for the comedy elements. However, it is an interesting piece of a little ridiculous movie to watch if you are not coming with high expectation. Seeing Elijah Wood (famous as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings) here is a bit surprising…well, seeing him back on movie screen is already surprising. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Cooties’ a total of 6.9.
Next up is ‘Little Big Master’, which is a drama film inspired by a true story. The story chronicles the struggles of the lowest-paid headmistress in Hong Kong history as she has to manage a kindergarten school of only 5 schoolchildren. She has to perform all the duties by herself in the small and dilapidated school building, caring for her schoolchildren’s welfare and family, and working to get the school to continue running despite pressure from the others to shut it down due to the lack of students. Miriam Yeung portrayed the headmistress while Louis Koo is her husband in the movie.
This is a wonderful and a touching film. It is a very warm and honest movie that comes with exceptional performances by the 5 kids, their parents/guardians and also Miriam and Louis. Miriam showcased a very natural, believable and down-to-earth acting and she may score a best actress nomination in next year’s Hong Kong Film Awards for this role. She is very good in here without going overboard. I previously heard that this role is supposed to be given to Sammi Cheng, but she went to star in ‘Triumph in the Skies’ which is a bad decision since that movie is awfully boring. Well, this ‘Little Big Master’ is also a bit boring with lacks of intense drama but it delivered successfully as a moving piece with many positive messages. The emotional scenes in the movie are tear-jerking. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Little Big Master’ a total of 8.0. Best Hong Kong film this year that I have watched so far. Warm, humble, and a sincere movie.
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)