- The Best Bet
name = The Best Bet
MediaCorp Raintree Pictures
Richard Low, Mark Lee, Christopher Lee, Chen Liping, and Joanne Peh
United International Pictures(UIP)
9 June 2004
gross = over S$2.5 million
website = http://thebestbet.com.sg
imdb_id = 0414619
"The Best Bet" is a Singaporean film as well as a
Singaporeantelevision series. The film was written and directed by Jack Neo, and produced by MediaCorp Raintree Pictures. The film, with a different cast than the television series stars Richard Low, Mark Lee, Christopher Lee, Chen Lipingand Joanne Peh.
Released in cinemas on
9 June 2004, "The Best Bet" earned over S$2.5 million. The film was nominated for Best Original Film Song at the 2004 Golden Horse Awards.
The film portrays the lives, struggles and adventures of three friends who are addicted to
gambling. They place a joint 4D bet; when they win, one is tempted to keep all the winnings to himself. This satirical comedytouches on gambling addictionand the consequences of one's actions.
The success of the film spawned a 14 episode
Singaporeantelevision series "The Best Bet" which aired on Mediacorp Channel 8on April 2005. Four of the five lead actors accept Joanne Pehcontinued to star in the television series. Several other new actors were added to the leading cast including Dai Qianyun as Mark Lee's idolizer, and Cheryl Chinas Mark Lee's and Christopher Lee's love interest.
In 1996, director Jack Neo became a gambling addict and spent over S$1,200 a month on 4D bets. Frustrated with losing money and feeling dependent on the gambling, he successfully kicked the habit in 1999 with the support of his wife. As the release of the film coincided with an ongoing debate on whether to set up a casino in Singapore, Jack Neo commented that "we should warn people about the ills of gambling, because it is always a cycle."Sherwin Loh, "Money Never Enough", The Straits Times, 9 June 2004.]
When writing the script, Jack Neo decided to change his style, reducing the amount of comedy in the film, and adding more drama. However, after negative feedback from focus groups and concerns from the Board of Film Censors that "The Best Bet" promoted illegal gambling and the speaking of dialects, he reversed his decision.Ong Sor Fern, “Scream king”, The Straits Times, 22 August 2005.]
"The Best Bet" was produced by
Raintree Pictureson a budget of S$1.5 million.http://www.sfc.org.sg/docs/1991to2006.pdf] Besides writing and directing, Jack Neo composed the songs, together with Mark Lee, who sang them. The production crew included Daniel Yunas executive producer, Titus Hoand Chan Pui Yinas producers, Michael Chuaas cinematographer and Mo Ju Lias music and sound director. [ [http://www.mediacorpraintree.com/thebestbet/credits.htm The Best Bet ] ]
Filming started on
4 March 2004and finished on 28 April. On the first day of filming, Jack Neo, Daniel Yun and the lead actors participated in a prayer ceremony at the hawker centre in Ang Mo KioAvenue 10. As 59 people had placed winning bets at nearby 4D outlets, Jack Neo commented that "this place is very wang (lucky) and this matches my movie." Stephanie Hua, "Best Bet on Jack Neo's latest movie", The Straits Times, 5 March 2004.]
The three main characters are Tan Chun Huang (Mark Lee), an illegal bookie and "super gambler" who leaves the running of his family's
bak kut tehstall to his younger sister, Hui Min ( Joanne Peh); Lee Yong Shun (Christopher Lee), an ambitious but unlucky man who abhors gambling; and Richard ( Richard Low), a white-collar executive who is indecisive and easily influenced, but does not listen to his wife's ( Chen Liping) pleas not to gamble.
A fake monk shows up near the bak kut teh stall and recommends the 4D number 3791, but Huang, who is skeptical of fake monks, refuses to buy the number. A fellow stallholder (
Tony Koh) buys the number just then. When the number comes out, Huang lashes out at Hui Min.
After being sacked, Shun is caught beating a red light, and throws a rock at the red light camera. Shun has trouble paying the instalments for his condominium, and his girlfriend Evita compounds his financial woes by demanding he buy her expensive gifts. Huang suggests Shun rent out a room in the condominium to two of Huang's friends, who moved from China to Singapore. Although this causes a furious Evita to dump Shun, he is touched by the gesture, and suggests Huang and Richard start a business with him. They welcome the idea, and take a bank loan to fund the business.
Unfortunately, at the opening ceremony of their business, Shun is arrested and sentenced to jail for breaking the red light camera and housing Huang's friends, who turn out to be illegal immigrants. Consequently, the business goes bankrupt, landing Huang, Shun and Richard heavily in debt. Huang and Richard try to clear their debts by borrowing from a
loan shark, but the police ambush them. Huang is arrested and sentenced to jail for illegal bookmaking.
Coincidentally, Huang, Shun and the fake monk are incarcerated in the same cell. The fake monk recommends the number 7272, and as the fake monk had previously recommended the number 3791, which came out, Huang and Shun are determined to buy the number. After a discussion with Richard, who also wishes to buy the number, they agree that Richard will place a joint bet, paying S$100 for each person.
When the number comes out, Richard's wife tempts him to keep all the winnings, because Huang and Shun had not paid for their bets. That night, Richard and his wife dreamt that they kept all the winnings to themselves, but had difficulty keeping the money safely and preventing others from knowing that they had won 4D, and that Huang and Shun took revenge on them after coming out of prison. Eventually, they decide not to keep the winnings to themselves. They decide to invest their winnings in a bak kut teh business based on an innovative business model, which prospers.
The main characters of the movie were played by the following actors: [ [http://www.mediacorpraintree.com/thebestbet/cast.htm The Best Bet ] ]
"The Best Bet" earned S$170,000 during its sneak preview, and over S$2.5 million during its cinematic release, [ [http://imdb.com/title/tt0414619/business Tu ran fa cai (2004) - Box office / business ] ] breaking the record for the largest opening day gross for a local film in the process. [ [http://www.firecracker-media.com/features/article01.shtml Firecracker | At the hub: A brief look at the Singapore film industry ] ]
The film screened at the Asian Film Festival [http://www.asiancinema.it/calendario_proiezionieng.asp?year=2005&t=c] and received a nomination for Best Original Film Song at the
Golden Horse Awards2004, losing to " Splendid Float". [ [http://imdb.com/title/tt0414619/awards Tu ran fa cai (2004) - Awards ] ] [ [http://www.mediacorpraintree.com/about_us/corp_profile.htm Raintree Pictures ] ] [ [http://www.altfg.com/awards/2004/Goldenhorse.htm » Golden Horse Awards 2004 - Alternative Film Guide ] ] [ [http://www.lovehkfilm.com/features/gha_2004.htm LoveHKFilm.com - 41st Annual Golden Horse Awards ] ]
* [http://thebestbet.com.sg "The Best Bet" official website]
* [http://mediacorpraintree.com/thebestbet/ "The Best Bet" MediaCorp Raintree website]
*imdb title|id=0414619|title=The Best Bet
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