Unpretentious fun in ‘When Hainan Meets Teochew’ by Han Yew Kwang
Han Yew Kwang returns from the triumph of “18 Grams of Love” with his third feature film, “From Hainan Meets Teochew”, a charmingly vivacious “anti-romantic comedy”.
The Hainan character (Lee Chau Min) is a manly woman (MW); the Teochew (Tan Hong Chye) an effeminate man(EM).
They get off on a bad note, but by a fortuitous turn of events, become confidantes to one another, perhaps sensing in each other a kindred spirit. The ebullient, slightly off-kilter ex-girlfriend of MW, played by Yeo Yann Yann, appears suddenly and her re-emergence serves as a catalyst to propel the narrative, leading MW and EM to confront their (very ambiguous) feelings for each other.
The film is unpretentious in its blatant aim to entertain and tickle audiences; it seldom takes itself seriously as opposed to local queer cinema, being almost whimsical in its treatment of gender other-ness but never once being denigrating.