Tuesday, December 05, 2006
the malaysian movie review
I'll be on the road for the next one month or so, so postings will be infrequent (or, more infrequent than they already are). I caught two local movies recently, and I simply had to share my thoughts on them. Labels: reviews
This isn't a real review. Oh no, I am much too lazy for that. If you want to read the synopsis and the details, head along to Suanie's for pictures of movie posters and advertisements.
The Red Kebaya - A Sentimental, Contemporary Malaysian Story
Cinta - A Rollercoaster Ride Through Love
I watched Red Kebaya in Hicksville where I walked into the cinema 5 minutes before the show started, only to find that it was totally empty and I was all alone. Sadly, I did not break my personal record (I once watched Dawn of the Dead with Monkey in the UK and we were the only two people in the cinema). By the time the trailers ended, the cinema was packed with a grand total of 5 people.
I personally find it weird to watch local movies that are in English. Comparisons are inevitable, and somehow I seem to compare the English to the typical Hollywood movie. When the script calls for Manglish (eg: Keong in Sepet) it sounds exaggerated, because I know we just don't speak Manglish to that extent. However, when the script calls for flawless English, sometimes weird accents creep in. A good example was the photographer's colleague in this show (the Punjabi lady). While I cringed everytime Keong said something so Ah-Beng sounding, I wanted to scream and smack this woman for being so pompous.
The cinematography (whatever the hell that actually means) was pretty good, as was the sound quality. In that sense, I would actually say that it is comparable to Hollywood. And since I know a jack shite about this department, I shall stop talking about it and I shall just conclude that it looks good and sounds good.
The acting reminded me of my class in Form 5. We were supposedly the top class in the form, but unfortunately we also had a few useless students in the class. There was a mid-term exam, and for Add Maths, the marking range was mind blowing. On one end of the scale, one guy got 100% while on the extreme end, another girl scored a big fat ZERO.
Same thing here. We are told that it is a pretty star studded cast, and yet while some of them delivered, some flopped miserably. I didn't quite like Ramli Hassan (again, the accent thing bugged me more than anything else),but he was alright. The lead actress, Vanidah Ibrahim was HOT and marvellous, as was Samantha Schubert. Elaine Daly as one of the joget girls was absolutely crap, and I am being kind there.
The storyline was pretty unique, although it never made much sense (but that wasn't the issue). I actually enjoyed the movie and kept thinking that it was actually quite good. That was until the ending, which I found totally disappointing. It was as if they suddenly decided that the movie was too long and they had to cram everything in the last 15 minutes.
It isn't a movie I would watch again, but certainly better than watching the other rubbish in the cinemas (like Happy Feet, for example). Speaking of which, there is a movie called Ciplak, and when I went with Piggy to watch Cinta, the counter guy heard me wrong and almost sold me tickets to Ciplak. This is why, it is always wise to check your tickets before you leave the counter.
Piggy and I were easily the only Chinese in the cinema that day. I watched this movie very much with the knowledge that it was like Love Actually with a Malaysian twist. 5 entwining love stories designed to make you sob and feel good at the same time.
It started on a very low note I thought. The lighting was crap (you can call it artistic, but I shall call it crap). The sound was rubbish as well. But behind the crappy lighting and sound, the plot was nothing short of awesome. I never liked Love Actually. Some stories, like the black dude white chick and best friend were kind of "acceptable", but stories like Prime Ministers falling in love with their maids is bloody ludicrous, even for a fairy tale movie.
That is why I loved Cinta. It was realistic in most of the stories. If they deleted the last 5 minutes of the movie, it would be like actual life. I suppose the ending of the movie was just to add a feel good touch, hopefully to make hopeless romantics leave the cinema with a smile (after all that sobbing). But the fact that it was all wrapped up in less than 5 minutes doesn't really drive home the message that all is nice and dandy, and makes me want to believe that the core of the stories could be summed up in one sentence. When it comes to women, asshole pwns nice guy on any given day of the week.
The adulterous spouse story was even more tear-jerking than Love Actually and while the sibling love story had more potential in Love Actually, it was poorly delivered unlike in Cinta where it was perfect in many ways (except the ending which was a little dumb).
I definitely recommend this show to everybody. I guarantee that there is a story you can actually relate to there, unlike Love Actually where you are expected to fall in love with an exotic Loatian woman whom you have no idea what she seems to be talking about.
But since I know some people who does speak like that and are that pompous, I guess they don't steer from reality that much on that one. Heh.
p/s: did you notice that at 1 scene she was reading the newspaper upside down?
The sound quality of the soundtrack wasn't good as well.