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Chicken rice war is loosely based on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, in the same way as Shakespeare in Love. In this movie the Montagues and Capulets are represented by the families Wong and Chan. Both families run Chicken Rice stalls side by side in the same market, something that the authorities say is impossible, since it's not allowed. The underlying conflict is about the secret family recipes that has been kept secret for generations, but apart from that nobody really knows what the fight is about.

Audrey Chan is a beautiful, vain and spoilt girl who is the most popular girl in school. Fenson Wong is an insecure young man with a stutter who, of course, is madly in love with Audrey. Their only common interest is Shakespeare and the version of Romeo and Juliet that they are setting up at school. When Fenson gets the chance to replace Audrey's beautiful but dim boyfriend as Romeo he starts seriously dreaming about capturing Audrey's heart.

Although this is the main story line, it is all the side stories that make Chicken Rice War a truly enjoyable comedy, with the continuous fights between the families scaring customers away, the to idle gossipers, the go-go dancing chicken whole seller and the Fat Lady, to mention but a few.

On top of the comedy element, CheeK gives you a whiff of Singapore with their "Singlish" mixture of Singapurean and English, which increases the enjoyment factor. There are also a lot of funny details, like the fact that Audrey's boyfriend has different European national football team shirts on all the time.

My favourite quote from the movie is in a scene where Fenson is standing talking to his best friend Leon.
Fenson: -Do you have a gum?
Leon: -Are you mad? We're in Singapore, don't you remember?

On a closing note, make sure that you have a Chinese restaurant handy for afterwards, since this film will make you hungry.


Written for the Everything Quests: Film Reviews

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