BEIJING: China moviegoers not only came away impressed with Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend but in awe of the biopic of a Malaysian small-town boy who rose to become the world No.1 shuttler.
Not surprisingly, when news broke yesterday of Datuk Lee Chong Wei undergoing treatment for cancer, it got many of his Chinese fans going on the popular Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, to express their wishes for his recovery.
Badminton fan Liu Yongsheng, who caught Chong Wei’s biopic, said it was not just a movie but an inspiring story about hard work and one man’s unflagging spirit.
“I saw the persistence. We do not lack opportunities but many of us do not have the same level of persistence to go on.
“This movie shows that success does not come easy.
“I have always liked Lee and now I know him better through the film,” he said.
Liu, 49, a member of the Beijing Wangbuliao Amateur Badminton Club, watched the movie with over 20 like-minded friends.
“When I arrived, I saw many friends here. It looked like a gathering of badminton fans,” he said.
The 110-minute biopic of Chong Wei, who grew up in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, started screening at some 8,000 cinemas in China on Sept 7. It has received an audience rating of seven out of 10.
According to maoyan, China’s largest online movie ticket service, the film has so far garnered 6.45 million yuan (RM3.9mil) at the box office.
It also has an audience rating of 9.2 out of 10.
Another moviegoer, Alicia Guangyan, said although she was touched by Chong Wei’s story, she focused more on the production and acting skills.
“I’m also in the entertainment industry, I could tell that the stars are not professionals, especially in the first part of the movie (on Chong Wei’s childhood).
“Nonetheless, the storyline and cinematography are good,” she said.
Malaysians in China, too, have given their full support to the movie by promoting it extensively on social media and treating their Chinese friends to the show or going for group viewings.
Meanwhile, news of Chong Wei’s illness was among the top 10 searches on Weibo yesterday. It was searched more than one million times on the platform.
The news was also widely reported by the Chinese media and major portals.
Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend will hit the cinemas in Taiwan this Friday.
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