Hungry Ghost Diner, 2023

The film is a Chinese urban comedy and fantasy horror drama movie that is both directed and written by Cho We Jun as his debut feature film with the writers Jacky Yeap and Sebastian Ng.

Chen Keat Yoke is the food truck operator here who discovered that the coffee shop of her family located in Behrang Stesen had been haunted with spirits of her dead family relatives returning for that Hungry Ghost Festival, right after she was stranded there during the lockdown of COVID-19 pandemic.

The movie premiered in Merry-Go-Round area of the Fantastic Film Festival on their 27th Bucheon International Festival on June 30, 2023, and had been subsequently awarded with the NETPAC Award as the best Asian featured movie.

The Cast Lists

Keat Yoke Chen performed as Bonnie

Eric Chen performed as Bobby

Rabbit Chen performed as Yap Sifu

Fabian Loo performed as Kit

Yee Swee Tam performed as Jia Gung

Sam Chong performed as Ah Kiu

Julie Chew performed as Mysterious Auntie

Joyce Hon performed as Mom

Diana Kok performed as Jia Por

Bella Rahim performed as Fruit Seller Auntie

Story Outline

Hungry Ghost Diner

Forced to take shelter in the old coffee shop of her family when become stranded during the sudden lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bonnie was shocked to find out that it is being haunted by the ghosts of their deceased relatives who are coming back for that Hungry Ghost Festival.

Writer’s Observation

It can always be said that Malaysia is not lacking the supply of talented narrators. You will be glad to finally watch the featuring debut movie of We Jun. It is well-made and a really fantastic movie, probably one of those few Malaysian movies displaying a very genuine slice of the life of Malaysia.

Interestingly, this Chinese language movie is not released in the usual season of Chinese New Year. It’s very obvious to watch this is a really very personal movie about a complex family relationships whereas exploring the not-often talk about the cultural elements of Hungry Ghost Festival. There are tears and laughs all throughout this movie and you will totally invest in the journey of Bonnie in finding out the insanity of her circumstances.

The props to Yoke that appeared in each scene with much presence and you will not sense even a single fake note from the initial lead role performances. The supporting actions are ideally cast and especially the pleasure of watch Eric Chen who played the father. The stoic and quiet father are also recognizable that most of us can identify in our lives. The choices of the lightings and the slow frame rate of Wong Kar Wai had also been adorable during certain scenarios in the world of ghost. Tan Teck Zee, who’s one of leading cinematographers in Malaysia, works magic here.

This independent movie is sorely desired in the Malaysian movie landscape. It is not the typical Hollywood movie that follows the formulaic view of high stakes and a hero. There are a few minor pacing and some tonal issues but then We Jun navigated confidently in this dear movie of family, filial piety, redemption and loss with so much heart, charm, and humor. You will really appreciate his choice of showing the adorable aspect of the life in Malaysia, with the code-switching in the spoken language from Cantonese up to Hakka to the Malay up to the broken English that we’re hearing every day.

Read Other Recommended Posts:

.The Chalk Line

Goodnight Mommy, 2022

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *