Money Has Four Legs – Film Review

Director: Maung Sun

Writer: Ma Aeint and Maung Sun

Starring: Okkar, Khin Khin Hsu, and Ko Thu  

Rating: ★★★½

Money Has Four Legs takes its name from the idea that humans are always chasing money but can’t catch it as we only have two legs while money has four. It’s something that director Maung Sun’s dad used to say when drunk and is recreated in a scene in the film. The film is an exploration into the censorship of film in Myanmar as well as the corruption in the banking systems.

The film centres on Wai Bhone (Okkar) and his family going through their daily struggles. Wai is a film director, who has previous made some independent action films, and is in the process of making his first studio film, clashing with the producer about the story and content of the film. When his brother in law and actor in the film, Zaw Myint (Ko Thu), has an accident on set it results in Wai being sacked. Together they have to find a way to make money and amid the news of a bank going bankrupt, despite still having a hoards of cash inside, they plan to rob the bank.

Money Has Four Legs is a black comedy that deals with a lot of heavy themes without ever getting too serious or dark. One of the first scenes is Wai having his script looked over by the producer, receiving notes that it needs to have a happier ending, that there needs to be less fighting and the police need to be promoted more in the story. It’s full of references to censorship and clashes between money and art. Wai doesn’t care how many people sees his film, he just wants to make the film he wants to make. While it’s pointed out to him that only films that make money are successful.

By staying light and not going to much into the themes, the film doesn’t have an emotional gut punch moment or powerful message. It still makes jabs at the banking system with the bank robbery and unbelievable amounts of wealth that the bank has kept secret while declaring bankrupt. One of the more powerful moments is Wai talking to his wife Seazir (Khin Khin Hsu) about what they are going to do now the bank isn’t there, who will get their money back. Seazir just replies that no one cares about them, not even the government so no one will be helping them. It’s the moment that Wai decides to rob the bank, an idea that was thrown about earlier almost as a joke.

When the bank robbery takes place, with them in masks and tackling the manager and assistant by themselves, they only take one bag worth of money, leaving the rest to be taken by the protestors outside who are trying to get in the entire time. There’s some nice irony in the scene that they would have been better off just joining the protest and taking the money that way.

Something the film does really well is show the clash divisions. Wai’s apartment building is filled with mould, cracked walls and looks run down in general. While he also goes to a lavish house at one point, that looks the complete opposite. Wai’s car is falling apart, while the producer’s is shiny and new. It shows the wealth division very clearly.

Money Has Four Legs is an entertaining crime comedy. It stays away from trying to be too emotional or having a strong message with the themes it explores, while still commenting on them. It’s a really good film and is worth seeking out, once it gets a wider release.

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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