Movie Review: 陣頭 Din Tao: Leader of the Parade

I was given 2 tickets by Yuberactive to watch the premiere screening of 《陣頭》 "Din Tao: Leader of the Parade" at GSC Pavilion yesterday evening. Prior to that, I had completely no idea there was such a movie, and no clue what 阵头 "din tao" was at all.

Anyway, the ticket redemption was from 7p.m. - 8p.m., so my brother and I rushed to Pavilion and got there a bit late, due to the traffic jams in KL (typical *rolls eyes*). The movie started at 9 p.m. so we decided to get a bite to eat from KFC before going in. Little did we know that there were some activities for the movie premier going on, so we missed out on all the fun. :(

We went in, found our seats and sat down, not really expecting anything. It was the first time I'd ever watched a Taiwanese-language movie in the cinema, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Mind you, I did do a bit of homework and watched the trailer on Youtube the day before. :P

Country: Taiwan
Language: Taiwanese, Mandarin
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed by: Kai Feng 冯凯
Starring: Alan Kuo 柯有伦, Alien Huang Hung Sheng 黄鸿升(小鬼), Chen Bor Jeng 陈博正, Liao Chun 廖峻, Crystal Lin 林雨宣
Running time: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

A-tai (Alan Kuo) is an aspiring musician who dreams of being a rocker in the US. Since childhood, he has never been on good terms with his father, Uncle Da (Chen Bor Jeng), who leads a small and struggling 'din tao' troupe in TaiChung. Upon A-tai's return home, he gets into a quarrel with a rival troupe led by Wu Cheng (Liao Chun) and his son A-Xian (Alien Huang), and accepts a challenge to lead his father's troupe and defeat Wu Cheng. Irked by Wu's arrogance, A-tai decides to take the troupe's demoralized members on a countrywide walk in search of inspiration to revamp the traditional folk art form of 'din tao'.

Uncle Da (left) quarreling with Wu Zheng (right)
United they stand. :D
Blood, sweat and tears on their journey across the countryside.
Rivals becoming allies.
Most touching scene in the movie. :')

My Review

I was skeptical of this movie at first, because I thought it would be just another typical boring Taiwanese movie about a young man's coming-of-age story, with gang fights and crying actresses. At first glance, it seems to be another movie trying to promote tourism and culture to its audience, but I have to say, it is much more than that. The film not only brings to attention the traditional - and dying - culture of 阵头 'din tao', a folk art which is an integral part of temple festivals in Taiwan, it also highlights the importance of communication in a family (my inner communications student is taking over the review, lol). To be honest, how many of us have jumped to conclusions about someone or something, and proceeded to use harsh words to justify and defend ourselves before listening to the whole story?

Between the humorous lines and awe-inspiring scenes, there is definitely a message that tells us to respect culture, adapt to change and appreciate relationships between each other. However, I sort of hoped they would use a bit more time/scenes to show the process of how the troupe managed to come up with their final performance, instead of just showing bits and pieces of the 2 troupes displaying teamwork and being all chummy, lol. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie much more than I expected to, and learned quite a bit of new stuff about Taiwan. :)

The best part? It wasn't until the end of the movie and the credits started rolling, that I found out the film was based on a true story. :) This movie was inspired by the true story of Taichung’s Chio-Tian Folk Drums & Arts Troupe, which depicts the struggles and hardships a group of youth endure while engaging in the diminishing art of folk drums culture.

Last but not least, since this is more of a beauty/fashion blog per se, here's my outfit for the premier screening. :P
Turquoise blouse, white vest, grey shorts and fleece-lined heeled combat boots (not pictured). I also brought a black shawl because the cinema hall was gonna be chilly. :)

陣頭 "Din Tao: Leader of the Parade" will be showing in local cinemas 17 May 2012.


little miss smexy said...

The moment I saw the name 柯有伦, WEEE! But i seldom watch Taiwanese movie because of their love drama which is so me. I likely expect the ending will be sad, someone will die from illness or even, got killed or something. lol

I think I might watch this movie since it is kinda worth to watch. :P Love your outfit!

Productive indeed

LauraLeia said...

Nicole: Wow, I didn't know you were such a huge fan of Alan Kuo! :D There are no crying actresses and nobody dies in the movie, so you can definitely watch it without rolling your eyes, haha! Thanks for compliment too ^^

Henry Tan said...

i heard about this before! yup it is one dying culture. haha

Ph1l1p said...

hi i'd like you to invite to participate in my blogging contest

LauraLeia said...

Henry: If you're interested in Taiwanese culture, you should definitely take a look! :)

Charmaine Pua said...

I've heard a lot of good reviews for this movie! Guess I'll catch it in the cinema!

Joey said...

Ooooh sounds interesting. I also like movies that are based on true stories

LauraLeia said...

Charmaine: I hope you enjoy the movie in the cinema! :)

Joey: Whoa, really? I seldom watch these kinda movies because I prefer fantasy movies, but this one was not bad, hehe.

anys nadhilah said...

aaaw .. i like your white jacket!!
adorable ! ^_^

LauraLeia said...

CikAnyss: Thank you! It's one of the favourite items in my closet, hehe. :)