“Kongsi Raya” is a Malay dramatic comedy film released in 2022 that depicts a young couple overcoming challenges in their quest to stay in love and eventually marrying to celebrate their love, while their fathers must confront their own traditional beliefs about culture and values within their respective races. The film is in Chinese and Malay, with each character bringing something new and unexpected to the table.
Sharifa is a young woman of marriageable age, who falls in love with Jack, a Chinese boy on his way to become a seasoned chef, all thanks to his father’s famed ways of perfectionism. Chef Rahim, Sharifa’s father, is a progressive Malaysian with a devoted wife. While Chef Rahim is progressive and modern in his outlook, Jack’s father is a staunch traditionalist who refuses to modify his ways. Let’s witness how Sharifa and Jack overcome challenges on their route to staying in love and marrying two families.
‘Kongsi Raya’ Plot Summary: How Does Jack Find His Way Into Chef Rahim’s Heart?
A talk show host begins the film by speaking with Jack, a Chinese guy, and Sharifa, a Malay girl, who had agreed to sit with her and tell her a narrative about how they met. Because it is an inter-racial marriage, their story may encourage others to believe in the possibilities of love despite society’s outdated racial and community standards.
Under his father’s guidance, Jack is putting in a lot of effort. He goes on a journey as a chef under his father’s tutelage, and it remains his primary focus. When he meets Sharifa, a Malay TV food program producer, he discovers that food is their shared passion. To marry and live together, Jack must win over Sharifa’s father, and Sharifa must win over Jack’s father. Jack’s father has a weak right hand as his nerves weaken, making it difficult for him to grip the wok with the same strength as he once did. Chef Rahim, Sharifa’s father, is the polar opposite, having honed his skills and perfected Malay cuisine.
When Jack and Sharifa fall in love, the first obstacle they must overcome is their parents’ approval of their relationship. Jack and Sharifa start to consider how they should inform their parents about their love. Jack sits across the table from his father and informs him that he has a crush on a Malaysian girl. Sharifa introduces the concept of a boyfriend via the idea of a female best friend looking to get married to a boy from another race. She asks her parents to explain to him that in order to pursue love regardless of race, he must embrace marriage and marry regardless of the circumstances.
Sharifa’s father is determined to find a suitable match for her within the family’s network of friends, and one man appears. Sharifa terrifies the potential suitor while her father is in the kitchen by stabbing him in the foot many times, causing him to flee in terror. Jack has a major squabble with his father, who is opposed to Sharifa’s presence in their lives. This enrages Jack, who storms out of the house and heads over to Sharifa’s. When Sharifa’s mother arrives, Jack disguises himself as a girl and emerges from the bathroom to identify himself as Siti, Sharifa’s best friend, who wishes to be married to someone who is like Jack.
Sharifa presents Siti to her mother as she enters, and her mother takes Siti to another room. They introduce Siti to Chef Rahim and get to know each other better. Jack has no clothes on his person at this time. His brother arrives with a suitcase of clothes and goes to check on him in person as per his mother’s instructions, but stumbles across Jack dressed as a woman outside the house while Sharifa tries to chase him away. Chef Rahim walks in on Jack’s brother and himself squabbling over the bag of clothes, mistaking Jack’s brother for the Jack who “Siti” wants to marry. This causes a misunderstanding between Jack’s brother and Chef Rahim and his wife, who is playing along quietly.
When Jack’s brother is having this conversation with Sharifa’s parents, things take a turn when he tries to hand over the ring to Jack, masquerading as “Siti,” but “Siti” kicks him, and he ends up kneeling and proposing to “Siti,” with Sharifa seated behind “her.” When Jack’s brother places the ring on Siti’s finger, Siti turns to look at Sharifa, who is overwhelmed with warmth and affection, lovingly whispers, “Yes.” Jack, disguised as “Siti,” proposed to Sharifa, and the two are now engaged. While doing so, they cement a relationship with Sharifa’s parents.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Kongsi Raya’ Ending Explained: Do Both Families Allow Jack And Sharifa To Be Betrothed In True Love?
When the girl’s side and the boy’s side cannot agree, it is the responsibility of both to start a discussion with the other side and set the record straight. They wish to have the wedding in a calm and composed manner. After a spirited cook-off with Jack’s father, Jack understands Sharifa’s father’s objection to the marriage as his identity is slowly revealed.
Chef Rahim tries to slowly approach Jack’s father to win him over and convince him of Jack’s love for his girlfriend as a matter of good faith. When things go wrong with Jack’s father, Chef Rahim recognizes he has a problem with him and decides to tackle it in a unique way by arranging a cook-off on prime-time television. The cook-off takes place, and the panel that makes the final verdict notifies that for both sides, no one has won, but that both styles of cooking are vital to the maintenance of Asian culture, thereby canceling out the wagers that both fathers had made if they stood to lose.
After the cook-off, when Jack reveals his true identity, Chef Rahim whisks Sharifa away and locks her in her room with no food. This tears her mother’s heart apart, and Jack must work with Chef Rahim to find a remedy to the situation. He approaches the mother, who is alone in the kitchen, and persuades her that she must first break the ice for him with Chef Rahim before he can ask Sharifa for her hand in marriage. Sharifa’s mother sits with her husband after having a delicious supper prepared by Jack and informs him eloquently that love has entered Sharifa’s life and that breaking her heart is not the way they should take.
Sharifa has left her room to meet Jack’s father, telling him in Chinese that she is willing to split up with Jack, her one true love. When Jack’s father hears Sharifa speak in Chinese and learns that she attempted to learn the language, she sees how important tradition is to Jack’s father and his rigid stance against her softens. Chef Rahim’s resolve also melts, and he asks Jack if he can look him in the eyes and vow to love and care for Sharifa. When he says yes, they discover Sharifa has vanished from her room after Jack says yes. They panic and call the cops, reporting she has been kidnapped, but when the doorbell rings, she is standing there with Jack’s family.
Sharifa and Jack marry and have three lovely children after their fathers mutually agree to soften their steely resolve towards each other. The talk show host is enamored with the couple and their family in the background, and captures all of their outfits in bright colors in numerous photographs to show the world that the future holds bright hope for couples willing to see progress with inter-racial marriages and that Asian culture will always be preserved.
“Kongsi Raya” has a natural comedic edge with slapstick humor and some peculiarities that will keep you giggling, but it also celebrates the warm moments when one experiences true love. Inter-racial marriages still have a chance to alter the world. When the characters discuss their soul’s journey in uncovering their truths, the film takes a different turn, inspiring us to do the same.
On a sweltering weekend like ours, “Kongsi Raya” is a joy to see since it takes you through genuine feelings and hilarity that will stay with you forever. It’s not wholly pointless to watch because the colors of each frame pop against each other, surprising us with unexpected delights.
“Kongsi Raya” is a 2022 Drama Comedy film directed by Teddy Chin.