I Not Stupid
From personal perils to the pressures of national policies, this box-office success delivers a rousing social commentary of hot button topics of its time.
Best friends Terry, Kok Pin and Boon Hock are bonded in their experience of being in EM3 – a national category of classes reserved for students with lacklustre academic performances. Bearing the burden of bad grades, the trio is cast less as underdogs than as a hapless underclass-in-the-making. In parallel, the adults around them fare no better against the stresses of modern Singapore.
Pitting its characters against trials and tribulations at every turn, the film elicits the biggest domestic drama in the country – a populace caught up in an unforgiving technocratic race as much as they participate in it. Serving as an airing of everyday grievances, I Not Stupid became a breakout hit for its canny and comedic crack at the fissures of a high-strung nation.
This 15th anniversary screening of I Not Stupid will be presented in 35mm format; the screening print is courtesy of the Asian Film Archive Collection.
Cast & Credits
Jack Neo cut his teeth in variety show television capturing the comedy and crises of the Chinese heartlander experience. I Not Stupid was nominated for Best Asian Film at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2003 and released in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. The film also opened the ground for national discussions on the education system.
David Leong, Chan Pui Yin
Shawn Lee, Huang Po Ju, Joshua Ang
• In-competition, Hong Kong Film Awards 2003
• Best Chinese Humanitarian Film, Taiwan Golden Torch Awards 2002