The late Datuk Lai Meng’s final movie project Supermum is all set to hit screens on May 30, in conjunction with Parents’ Day.
It has been a year since the veteran actress succumbed to illness last year in May at the age of 90. She had wanted to make one last family-oriented movie that was filled with love in order to spread happiness all around.
In her final recorded message, Lai said: “The film Supermum is not my biography, nor is it a story about myself.
“However, the message that this movie conveys is what I wish to express: To be respectful towards your parents and to be grateful for the people who care about you.
“This movie is my parting gift to all of you. It is full of love, and filled with memories. I hope you all enjoy it.”
Supermum tells the story of an elderly lady, who strives to renew family ties amongst her four children, who drifted apart due to different priorities in life.
After taking a fall, she finds herself wheelchair-bound and becomes deeply distressed when her four children start squabbling over the family fortune.
She endeavours to impress upon them the importance of harmonious relationships to strengthen family bonds.
The movie was launched at a recent press conference attended by Lai’s son Yap Meow Chook, director Bjarne Wong, executive producer Stephen Wong, as well as main stars Eliza Wong, Remon Lim, Sarah Tan, Joey Leong, Wei Wei and Sam Loo.
Sarawakian film director Bjarne Wong helmed Supermum to fulfill a promise he made to Lai, who was also his godmother.
“As far as this movie is concerned, without Aunty Lai Meng, there would be no Supermum,” said Bjarne who shared how Lai decided to make her own movie after she stopped getting acting offers following a fall that left her confined to a wheelchair.
“She loved acting and wanted to make a family-themed movie to encourage positive values. She asked for a happy ending, to give people more hope for the future, so we wrote it according to her wishes.”
Initially, Lai was supposed to play the matriarch in the movie but unfortunately she fell ill and then passed away before shooting began.
She did, however, manage to record special messages for her fans which are included in the film.
Local actress Eliza Wong, who also calls Lai her godmother, stepped in the portray the matriarch.
“Filming each scene was very sentimental for me due to the props used for her character. The wheelchair and the walker that you see me using in the movie was actually used by Aunty Lai Meng herself,” Eliza said.
“It’s wonderful how all the cast and crew have worked together to help Aunty Lai Meng realise her final dream. Even though she could not join us the way she hoped to do, I think she will be very happy to see how it all turned out,” said actress Leong.
“I think people are most curious as to how she is going to appear in the movie and what her message is, so we are all out to watch Aunty Lai Meng’s very last appearance on the big screen,” added Lim.
When asked why the filmmakers decided to release Supermum at the time of the year usually occupied by big-budget summer blockbusters, director Bjarne said: “Many people have asked me this question. As a tribute to Aunty Lai Meng, having a release date in May is especially meaningful for Supermum, as it is the first year anniversary of her passing as well as the Parents’ Day celebration.”
Supermum opens at GSC cinemas nationwide on May 30.