I Not Stupid

I Not Stupid, directed by comedy actor turned director Jack Neo in 2002, was inspired by the critically acclaimed Iranian film, 'Children of Heaven'. In his film, he seeks to address issues of social stigma, specifically the branding of students into various streams academically at the tender age of ten as well as how adherence to authorities is emphasized over self in school.

The film tells the tale of three boys - Terry Khoo, Liu Kok Pin and Ang Boon Hock - each with diverse backgrounds from one another but who are all placed in the academically inferior EM3 stream. Terry, whom the story is told through, is your typical rich kid taught to be obedient. He follows rules "for his own good" and "mind your own business" as taught by his domineering mother. Kok Pin is talented in art but forced by his mother to excel academically instead. Both mother and son are hurt by her academic expectations of him. Boon Hock, on the other hand, struggles to make ends meet with his mother. A series of incidents and misunderstandings reveal as well as mould their characters. In the end, disaster strikes and Terry saves the day with the new, braver him. The movie ends on a happy note - the three became best friends and their once estranged parents got on good terms.

The film may seem lighthearted at times with many witty comments and jokes but delve deeper, the social commentary it makes is to be taken much more seriously. One of such issues highlighted in the film is the dilemma between a parent's desire for the best for his child and the child's own will, and provides much food for thought. The film was nominated for Best Asian Film at the 2003 Hong Kong Film Awards. Cast includes veteran actors and talented child actors Xiang Yun, Richard Low, Selena Tan, Shawn Lee, Huang Po Ju and Joshua Ang.

FreshGrads's conclusion: An enjoyable local classic you will not regret watching.

Related links: I Not Stupid Official Site, I Not Stupid Wikipedia, I Not Stupid Too Official Site, Be With Me FG movie review

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