Huat Ah! Huat Ah! Huat!

huat

This is a 2014 Chinese New Year movie featuring well-known Malaysian singer-songwriter Aniu and Hong Kong’s Joyce Cheng. There is a large cast of mostly unknowns; at least, I recognised only Marcus Chin from Singapore.

Twenty-six-year-old Ah Huat (played by Aniu) suffers from autism and was left under the care of his grandfather (Marcus Chin). He is naive and is  crippled by communication abilities but has superior motor skills and extreme sharp senses for food. He feels uneasy with people of his age because they usually look down on him and stereotype him as weak and only likes to befreind younger children. He prefers being a kid as being an adult is “no fun at all”.  (The only adults he likes, other than his grandfather, are Xiao Ping, a fishmonger whom he is enamoured of, and a new villager who becomes his mentor in brewing coffee.) Being kind-hearted, he is always taken adventage of. His innocence and inexperience often land him in trouble (like being fired 19 times in a month), though he diligently obeys his grandfather and takes up jobs he doesn’t like. He loves to sing and plays the ukelele.

Aniu, the music director and co-producer for this movie, pens five original songs. These are sung at every opportunity, one of which has since become the jingle (the chorus) for a coffee commercial. The songs are catchy, and the best part of the movie. The plot is simple though the message is powerful: that a person with autism disorder is not stupid but is special.

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