Categories Film Review

Review, How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies (2024)

The Thai film industry holds a significant position in Southeast Asia due to its distinctive style and consistent output of high-quality films. Thai movies are widely distributed and popular in neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Thai cinema is renowned for its unique storytelling, high-quality production, and incorporation of traditional Thai culture and contemporary issues. Thai cinema is considerably up there in Southeast Asian market especially across 2010s, look at Hello Stranger, Bad Genius, Suckseed, Ong Bak and more.

The recent tearjerker ‘How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies’ has successfully remind us about quality of Thai cinemas that is able to conquer Southeast Asia. How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies is a slice-of-life family drama that is able to resonate deeply through the realistic problems, character’s background and development.

The film is about the relationship inside a Chinese-Thai family who begin swarming their ageing grandmother or Amah after she is diagnosed with terminal cancer in the hope that they can receive some inheritances. Directed by Pat Boonnitipat, the film delivers something relatable to society.

M (Putthipong Assaratanakul) is a basic urban Gen Z. He is a good for nothing, he is a school dropout and has a dream to be a game-caster on the internet. One day he draws inspiration from his cousin, Mui (Tontawan Tantivejakul), who received small fortune when her grandfather dies after taking care of his dying grandfather until the end.

Hoping for a fast money to pursue his dream, M decided to be the helper for his Amah (Usha Seamkhum). M’s objective and character development across the film is the main storyline of this film and M played it beautifully. He transformed from an opportunist into a lovely grandson.

Amah also perfectly created an old-school grandma who is used to live alone, from a cold Amah and slowly turn into a warm one who open to his grandson. The character of Amah is like a shelter in the middle of a storm, the problems that are presented in the film, the sons who aim for inheritances.

She looks like she feigns ignorance toward all of this mess, but secretly sees all of her family as who they really are and accepts their flaws. She restores faith in human relations. Even the changes in M’s character are centered on Amah. Despite the situation, M and Ammah, or Amah and her family are having some normal relationships like any other families. That normality is the key toward the relatable storyline and emotion of this film.

Vide Trailer: How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies
The Chinese cultural heritage presented in the film adds an extra dimension to the story development. Infusing an array of regional beliefs, traditions and rituals into a chaotic situation. One significant aspect is the decision to keep Amah unaware of her serious condition.

What is lacking from this film probably the usage of Mui and the wife of Kiang (Sanya Kunakorn) the first son. Both characters are underdeveloped and can be more explored. Mui is too one dimensional, she is only shown as the trigger for M’s objective, her appearances after the death of their grandpa are lacking in depth. So is Kiang’s wife, despite being a variable toward Kiang’s action she stays quiet until the end.

After taking a look, it can be seen that all the setting in How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies is basic. M is a character with basic settings, a lazy youngster who wants fast money with an easy job. It’s standard, but somehow relatable. So do any other characters inside the film. Terminally ill elderly, a hardworking single mom, a problematic uncle, a pretty cousin, those are not new.

Despite those standard settings, How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies is able to resonate deeply with the audiences through its meticulously crafted story and touching story development. This authentic depiction of life, inspired by contemporary realistic situations, offers an insightful look into the dynamics of a Confucian family. It addresses themes ranging from favoritism to the generational consequences of tradition, reminding the young of their responsibilities to the elderly while prompting the dying to reflect on their obligations to the living.

Our Score (8.5/10)

Title: How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies
Production: GDH, Jor Kwang Films
Director: Pat Boonnitipat
Story: Pat Boonnitipat, Thodsapon, Thiptinnakorn
Stars: Putthipong Assaratanakul, Usha Seamkhum, Tontawan Tantivejakul

Written By

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Demon Lord (Editor-in-Chief) of Monster Journal.
Film critics, and pop-culture columnist.
A bachelor in International Relations, and Master's in Public Policy.
Working as a Consultant for Communications and Public Affairs.

(radarbahurekso@gmail.com)

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