Not everyone may have been lucky enough to watch "Lee Chong Wei" at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, but it will be making its wide release in cinemas on 15 March. As one of Malaysia's most loved athletes, Lee Chong Wei's rags to riches story is an inspiration to us all. While that should be reason enough to watch it, we have a few more reasons why you should watch "Lee Chong Wei" when it comes out in cinemas.
Director Teng Bee may sound like an unfamiliar name outside of the local Mandarin speaking audience, but this former music video director has already cut his directorial teeth with his "Kepong Gangster" series. Both of his triad movies have demonstrated that he has the technical competence and a solid grasp on storytelling, and this would be his chance for a breakthrough as one of the best Malaysian directors we have.
Many may still not know of the hard circumstances Lee Chong Wei grew up in before he made his way to be number one in the world. While a majority of this biopic will be taken from Lee Chong Wei's own biography "Dare to be a Champion", there will be some dramatic license added in this adaptation by Teng Bee, Wong Siew Chooi, Tony Hu and Luke Hwong.
While the two leads portraying Lee Chong Wei are young bloods that were selected from an arduous audition, it still has a cast that is almost as legendary. Singaporean funny man Mark Lee and Malaysia's own Golden Horse winner Yeo Yann Yann will be co-starring as Chong Wei's parents, Rosyam Nor will take the pivotal role of Misbun Sidek; Chong Wei's mentor and trainer, and Ashley Hua as female national player Wong Mew Choo.
To add even more credence to the amount of technical expertise being brought onboard for this biopic, "Lee Chong Wei" is lensed by cinematographer Eric Yeong, who has done the camerawork for Yeo Joon-han's "Sell Out" and "In the Dark". Yeong was the winner for Best Cinematography at the 2015 Malaysian Film Festival for his exceptional work in Chiu Keng Guan's "The Journey", and this is his next feature work since.
Watching a Lee Chong Wei match has always been a national event in of itself, and having the chance to watch his life story deserves to be just as memorable. 2017 went by without a uniting Malaysian film like 2016 did with "Ola Bola", and we are glad that 2018 would not share that fate. While it always warms our hearts to see Malaysians sitting around the mamak to cheer for our national, we hope to be able to see the people in the cinema with their popcorn as Malaysians.