Number 1 Review: Mark Lee Goes All In For Cross-Dressing Farce
Mark Lee is up for Best Actor at next month's Golden Horse Awards.
Starring Mark Lee, Henry Thia, Jaspers Lai, Kiwebaby, Cassandra See, Gina Tan
Directed by Ong Kuo Sin
Retrenched from his GM job at a construction firm, Mark Lee’s Chow Chee Beng (sounds like a naughty word if you say it fast five times) ends up working in the eponymous drag club. There, he’s the AGM, aka “Ah Gua Manager”. Ha-ha. Oh, it gets better: Chow, who’s straight and married, gets roped into the sequined act as well. Lee is no stranger to playing regular Joes dealt a bad hand (see Money No Enough, Taxi Taxi), except this time, he wears mascara and high heels. (For his efforts, Lee, always a trooper, received a Best Actor nomination at next month’s Golden Horse Awards). The gender-bending farce, while feel-good and well-meaning, is a tad on the nose and TV sitcom-y predictable, especially when all the characters — Chow’s cross-dressing colleagues (including Taiwanese transgender actor Kiwebaby), disapproving family (’90s singer Gina Tan as the missus unaware of Chow’s day-job), a scary Cassandra See as a butch gangster, and Kumar — descend on the traffic jam (literally) of a finale. That’s when the movie becomes a real drag. (**1/2)
Photo: mm2 Entertainment