It is a musical, in the movie there are lots of Hokkien songs and Chen Jinlang’s famous songs. It is a movie full of local music and local feeling. It combined old songs and new songs together but audience won’t feel strange. Then the content of songs is all about sadness and with dolorous music, like ailment, separate, destiny. The lyrics are also reflection of Papaya sister’s own destiny.
Stage and costume design
Then design of stage and costume in this movie is flowery, give audience pleasure to eyes. For example of the last competition between Papaya sister and Durian sister, they changed many enchanting dresses on a glorious stage but sing some sadness songs with happy tune. This design emphasized the contrast between stage and true life. Reflect worldliness and flashy taste in those years.
Uncanny and funny factors
At the beginning of movie, director use funny cartoon and voice over give a brief introduction of the sister’s childhood. Then use main actor Guanyin’s voice over explain the whole story. There are many weird scenes in the movie, like the part of the queen of singing. It seems totally ridiculous there’s such queen, made audience feel funny. Then it happened many times when competition there is flash fire between two sisters like old fashion kung fu movies always did.
This is a typical method to represent a tragicomedy.
Actor and actress
The director had used many real Getai singers. Like MC Lin li、Wang lei and brother of Chen Jin-lang. One of the main actresses Ling Ling Liu is used to be a Getai singer. The “small papaya” Mindee Ong and “big papaya” Yann Yann Yeo are both singer. There is also a blind singer singing in front of the temple is a real exist person. He just actor his real life before he is famous by a sing competition show——Super Star. We can still remember the sad song he was singing as it is so impressive.
Because most of them are familiar with the Getai or have the similar experience as the one they act, so their performances are natural and easily touch audience’s heart.
Singapore is a multinational country which has 4 official languages. They always mixed different languages together and everyone can understand several languages. This character represent clearly in this film. The aunt speaks Fujianese, dummy and sister use Mandarin, some one use Cantonese and English too. The most important part is three women in the temple “daxiaoren”( hit the baddies). Aunt used several languages to curse, this cause a funny effect.
This is a movie based on Singapore’s traditional Ghost day singing show. Brigs the idea of friendship, love, family, struggle and so on, especially the Hokkien spirit which is never give up. Expect this, movie bring out another profound meaning as death. “Small papaya” is a role who count for her own life and struggle to the destiny, she is the epitome of everyone. Everybody in the world should face the problem of death, no one can escape, so what we could do is just cherish what we own now and live with hope. The canniness of the director is he put those significations in the plot, move audience gradually.