I was feeling under the weather the past few days and to get myself out of the house for a movie helped. I decided to write this to share my thoughts.
Overall, The Kid from The Big Apple 2 got my attention to many issues about family, communication, forgiveness, judgement, childlike playfulness, love, sacrifice, change and the disease called Dementia. You could hear sniffles here and there as certain parts of the movie do make the audience cry.
This Malaysian made movie has so many elements and values that are slowly missing in families and relationships. This time Director Jess Teong delivers about dementia and old age where we see dignity in it. I see how grandpa is portrayed to understand his deteriorating memory and he was afraid of causing hurt to his family whilst fear that he would forget his family. A dilemma I believe most old people will experience.
What is beautiful about this story, that his daughter Sophia and granddaughter Sarah adores Grandpa and their love overcame every obstacles they have.
Sarah and Bao truly show the innocence of children and their positive mindset which we can all use and learn from. As adults, most of us including me see problems as problems rather than something which we can find solution or alternative to overcome.
Neighbours he had when he was living in the flat were truly family. With their unique behaviours and attitude, they held on to love and friendship and that kept him going for so many years living alone. I love the fact I used to experience such love and friendship from the neighbours, overlooking their inquisitive and ‘kaypo’ (nosy) behaviour.
Sophia’s past with her husband and at first it was all the bad, irresponsible man played by Shaun Tan. He played his role well and when he told the reasons he left so that Sophia can graduate (he sacrificed his studies so that financially, he can support her) and how much he regretted not being there to see Sophia succeed, receive their daughter together, change nappies, etc). Whatever the excuse, we do make decisions based on what was right at that time. Here, the communication between 2 persons is reconciled and mended broken fences which is important.
I love Ah Bao (Jason Tan) fun loving, silly but innocent child character. He really brings everyone together . I can say he is the highlight and the hero in the movie. He teaches us trust, integrity, creativity, how to have fun, how to love, etc.. all the values we have to be.
Ti Lung, the actor who played Grandpa was my hero when he was the Kung Fu (martial arts) movies. Seeing him at this age was totally a surprise. He suddenly changed from a kungfu fighting actor to become a frail old man.
I understand that part where he and Ah Meng went to an old folks home to see if he can live there so that he does not burden his daughter. He changed his mind after seeing the condition there and what Ah Meng shared where he (Ah Meng) did not have a chance to spend more time with his mother because he put her in a home. He regretted it.
Grandpa also talked about how he wished he could travel the whole of Malaysia and spend more time with his daughter and Sarah. The biggest fear is that he would forget them both.
My own father wish was to visit his hometown and we made that wish happen 2 years ago, but sadly he cannot recognise even his own school. I am glad we took that trip though.
This movie touched the core of my being because I am living with my nearly 90 year old father going through his 2nd childhood. I admit that I struggle accepting my formerly strong, easy going father to a grumpy, stubborn, lazy old man who at times forget what he does or what he has eaten, he is living in his own time zone; totally not the man I used to know. He has his moments but it is still alright. I just thank God he can recognise us at home. Whilst watching the movie, my father flashed through my head and I cried knowing that I have so much I still have to do; to accept my father as he is now and to love him as he is. I love him and it is my duty to care for him; no home can care for him and my mother like our own. I am blessed he is still physically alright.
In real life, my father is not like Grandpa, with such good behaviour as he can be quite a handful, like a child who refused to do things when called to, but he has his good times. Thank God he knows who we are and is still able to argue with us.
Congratulations Jess Teong for one of the best family drama alive. You truly bring back and remind us the values which we a losing in our current society. Bring more to our screen such valuable lessons we need.
Whilst my father is breathing, I will do my best to love him and spend that time with him until he goes home to his Maker. TKFTBA 2 – Before we Forget is a reminder to me of my situation and how I should ‘handle’ it.
Live another day, live it well. Make it count each day knowing we lived. – Catherine Lim