Dir. Brian Tse | Hong Kong | 2015 | 81 minutes
Nov 7 12:00 pm | AGO Jackman Hall
McDull, Hong Kong’s most beloved piglet, is back in his latest film installment — McDull: Me and My Mum (麥兜‧我和我媽媽). Like all McDull features, it is filled with silly childish humour, and the ups and downs of living in the city of Hong Kong.
The film begins with a mysterious, yet familiar, character: Bobby Mak. Bobby is a renowned private detective with his own television show, but he is also the once dimwitted McDull. Under the backdrop of a crime scene, Bobby begins weaving together seemingly nonsensical stories of his upbringing and his relationship with his mother, Mrs. Mak — and what a tale Mrs. Mak is. She’s the epitome of a supermom: an endless fountain of money-saving life hacks, working multiple jobs to make ends meet, hosting shows, but above all, she loves and trusts McDull completely.
Under the limited perspective of McDull, Mrs. Mak also occasionally goes to “astronaut training.” But, as we see from the tubes attached to her arm and the monitoring machines that surround her, the signs say otherwise, and this bittersweet game of pretend is a hard game to win.
The stories continue on to follow McDull as he grows into a teenager, and then a young adult, working odd jobs, and feeling a little lost in life. Eventually, he becomes a fisherman, travelling the sea as he begins to grow physically and emotionally further away from his mother. Yet as the current, sophisticated Bobby Mak recalls these tales of his mom, there is no hiding the pride and love he has for her and how that has allowed him to become the renowned detective he is today.
Watching Me & My Mum, it’d be hard not to get teary eyed at the unconditional love and trust Mrs. Mak has for her son. Mrs. Mak embodies the devotion of many working-class parents — taking up multiple jobs so that her son wouldn’t have as hard of a life, trying to give McDull the best possible upbringing despite her limited means… It can hit a little too close to home for some of us.
Ultimately, McDull’s new movie is filled with nostalgia and cute, childish jokes, but the maternal love of Mrs. Mak prevails above all. Me & My Mum will leave you in stitches, but it may also leave you with a desire to phone up your parents and remind them how thankful you are.