Friday, March 14, 2008

Ah Long Pte Ltd



Ah Long Pte Ltd (Mandarin)

Synopsis:



Just watched this movie.Personally i like the poster :)

Ah Long Pte Ltd 《老师嫁老大》 is a light-hearted black comedy about the triad world and the money-lending business. Instead of treating the subject of Ah Longs (money-lenders) seriously, the movie takes on a humorous and sarcastic treatment. It depicts how a young lady tries to restructure her money-lending triad into a professional and ‘loving' triad that stands against the use of violence after she takes over from her triad leader who has retired. Her various restructuring plans (which are no doubt very creative) bring about hilarious results.

Chen Jun (played by Richard Low) is the leader of Shao He Triad. The story opens with him deciding to “retire” from the triad business. Prior to his retirement, he elects Wang Li Hua (played by Fann Wong), a young but tough girl, as his successor.


Li Hua believes that changes need to be made to the current money lending system . Although Li Hua prioritizes the triad's success, she is very much against the idea of using violent means to collect debts. Therefore, with the help of some professional consultants, Li Hua and several of her subordinates (played by KK and Daniel Tan) start adopting a series of creative tactics to attract money lenders and practice hilarious methods to pressure the money-lenders to repay in a non-violent way. However, Li Hua's plan of “restructuring” her triad meets with obstacles and opposition from the majority of the conservative elders in both her own triad and rival triad.

At the brighter end of the world, Mr. Fang (played by Mark Lee) is a kind-hearted dance instructor who is slightly sissy in character. Fate has it that Mr. Fang runs into Li Hua on numerous occasions by chance. Since Li Hua's mother has been pressuring her to get married, Li Hua decides to force Mr. Fang to marry her. Surprisingly, Mr. Fang agrees to it, wanting to prove his masculinity. Though finding it hard to accept the fact that Li Hua is a triad head, Mr. Fang approves of her effort to minimize the use of violence. Subsequently, he offers to help Li Hua out by introducing creative ways to reduce violent methods of debt collection.

What is a Ah Long??

English : Loan Shark

A loan shark is a person or body that offers illegal unsecure loans at high interest rates to individuals, often backed by blackmail or threats of violence. They provide credit to those who are not willing or are unable to obtain it from more respectable sources, usually because interest rates commensurate with the perceived risk are illegal.

In much of history, usury laws made loan sharks commonplace. Many moneylenders skirted between legal and extra-legal activity. In the western world in recent years, loan sharks have been a feature of the criminal underworld , but otherwise rare.

There are many registered and legal lenders that lend to people who cannot get loans from the most mainstream lenders, such as large banks. They often operate in cash, whereas mainstream lenders increasingly operate only electronically, which means that they will not deal with people who do not have a bank account. Terms such as subprime lending and "non-standard consumer credit" are used for this type of lender. Payday loans are one example of this type of consumer finance. The availability of these products has made true loan sharks rarer, though some authorised lenders have been accused of behaving in an exploitative manner.

Payday loan operations have also come under fire for charging inflated "service charges" for the service of cashing a "payday advance" — effectively a short-term (no more than one or two weeks) loan for which charges may run 3-5% of the principal amount. By claiming to be charging for the 'service' of cashing a paycheck, instead of merely charging interest for a short-term loan, laws which strictly regulate moneylending costs can be effectively bypassed.



Ah Long in Malaysia and Singapore

Ah Long (derived from Chinese word "Dragon" (Chinese: 阿龍) or short for the Cantonese phrase "daai ji lung", 大耳窿) is a term for illegal loan sharks in Malaysia and Singapore. They lend money to people who are unable to obtain loans from banks or other legal sources, mostly targeting habitual gamblers. They charge a very high interest rate (about 40% per month/fortnight which equals 1422%/33087% per annum due to the constantly compounding interest.)and frequently threaten violence (and administer it) towards those who fail to pay in time.

Many years ago, prior to the registration of mobile phone numbers in Malaysia, Ah Longs advertise their services merely by distributing their calling cards.

Red paint

When a person fails to pay in time, the Ah Long will spray, splash, or write in red paint on the walls of the house or property of that person as a threat of violence and to shame the borrower into repaying the loan. According to local police authorities, there have been cases where borrowers were beaten or had their property damaged or destroyed, and some victims have committed suicide.

Stealing items

Nowadays instead of waiting for the victim to pay up, Ah Longs now tend to break into victim's house and steal items worth the loan. This method is commonly used to save time and also effort.



Conclusion : it's best highlighted as a two-hour telemovie with 20 or 30 tummy tickles on either side of a scene with Fann Wong's bare butt showing - which probably isn't even hers. 4/10

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