Category Archives: General Commentary

Pulang

Last Tuesday, I was privileged enough to be given the opportunity to watch a new movie called “Pulang” (Coming Home), directed by the amazing Kabir Bhatia based on a true personal story shared by Primework Studios’ CEO, Ahmad Izham Omar. It is a story about his grandfather who left his grandmother and father to sail, see the world, get more fortune so he can come home and provide a better life for his family but in the end, he never came back.

Poster Filem Kabir Bhatia Pulang 1

I think people have soft spots for real/true stories that we don’t really have much comments on the story itself as it is a personal journey by someone. I will try not to give any spoilers because it’s one of those movies I really want people to watch.

Kabir Bhatia is one of the renowned directors in Malaysia. I remember being invited to do a blogger’s screening for one of his earlier movies – “Cinta” back in 2006. Having Kabir Bhatia on board to direct and visualise Ahmad Izham’s story was a great choice – and knowing Ahmad Izham from his unique eye for talent, quality and standard, I’m sure he won’t settle for anything less than what the incredible Kabir Bhatia could bring to life on screen. So we are already assured that it would be a stunning movie.

But I was more blown by the visually stunning shots done by the Director of Photography/Cinematographer, a new name I have yet to see as an audience (or maybe I haven’t been paying that much attention) – Zambree Haras. The movie is beautifully shot so it create an ambiance that is close to Lovely Bones and The Big Fish kind of feeling.

I am really trying my best to reserve my comments on the acting. The only spot on acting was Erwin Dawson’s being Ahmad. (I’ve deleted many sentences for this part of the review, haha).

I wish it has a better or heavier percentage in just one genre. Right now it looks a bit 50/50 – 50% action and 50% drama. However, we all like a lot of elements in a movie so we can always be distracted to something else when something else doesn’t catch our attention.

My other comment is that I wonder if there are different types of make-up artists in the Malaysian film industry – like one for really transforming someone into a different age and one just to make up a character to look nice on set. Maybe it’s time for our make-up artists to consider really exploring expertise in these areas – transforming characters.

It’s a story with many angles of development, this movie in particular focused on narration by the main character, Che Thom, wife of Othman, another character who also narrated it from his story and the grandson, Ahmad who narrated on his journey to fulfill his grandmother’s last wishes and put the pieces of the story together to find closure for everyone. I wish we could also see Omar’s story, the son who was left behind and how he grew up having an absent father as his ultimate role model and his life with the mother, waiting for his father to return back home.

I am very glad I get to watch this movie and have discussions about it afterwards. My boss, Ngai Yuen who watched the movie too told me, if we’re having such a discussion about this film, it means that it’s a film good enough and worthy enough for a discussion. We need to bring back intellectual discussions to the film industry, not fluffy media questions like “What did you do to cry for this scene?” or “Was it good working for this director?”. I rather ask “What would we do differently?” because that shows another person’s ability to adapt the story and the story’s potential to be presented in a variety of ways.

Pulang the movie opens today, 26th July 2018 in cinema nationwide. My mom already asked me to bring her to watch this movie. So let’s all bring our loved ones to watch it.

Hopefully we have more people talking about movies, constructively.

WhatsApp Image 2018-07-26 at 11.33.26 AM

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Akuan Penonton

Movies is all socio-economics and culture.

Why Bollywood is a thriving economy?

People simpan duit sebulan to watch a movie and it’s their escapism. My dad once told me, how the peladang and pesawah di India simpan duit semata-mata untuk tengok kehidupan ilusi for 3 hours. Movies for them is escapism. Satu kehidupan yang mereka impikan. And going to the cinema is a whole day outing. They get to watch one and a half hour of the first half, then during intermission they get to keluar panggung to makan and discuss on what has happened and what will happen, then masuk balik panggung to know the ending.

Kalau ending orang jahat tak mati, ini memang boleh sampai bakar panggung punya type of audience.

For us, the Malaysian culture masih music, not so much on movies. Look at what is flooded and hyped for. Konsert Jom Heboh. Konsert Gempak Astro. Imam Muda pun buat ala konsert sekarang.

Masa kecik kita grew up dengan Bintang RTM. Hiburan Minggu ini. Konsert boybands la apa la. Urban ke, mainstream ke, music it is.

Masa zaman 80s, mak saya akan bawa kami naik bas dari Selayang ke pekan Kuala Lumpur, just to watch movies. Kami akan makan kat Chow Kit road. Minum air Sudi – a can drink produced by Sudirman.

For us it was outing yang ditunggu-tunggu. Sekarang it’s sad sebab saya tiada masa untuk bawa Mama to go to the movies.

Last 2 years, Mother’s Day saya ambil cuti. Bawak mama tengok filem Chow Kit. Panggung kosong. Saya beritahu Mama, saya booked panggung for her. Felt quite cool although in real nature, it was sad to see a Malaysian film with only 2 person filling up the hall.

Going to the movies also became a ritual antara saya dan adik-adik. Zaman Harry Potter dan Twilight. Itu quality time saya dengan adik-adik. Usually it is a much anticipated outing with them. Especially sebab selalunya saya sibuk belajar di kampus dan pulang hanya ketika cuti. Now, both of them have their own driving license. Mereka lebih suka pergi tengok wayang bersama rakan-rakan.  And saya pula, sekarang saya sibuk tolong orang lain buat movies. Saya tiada masa untuk do my former rituals with loved ones. Sedih sangat.

Bagi saya, going to the movies is my culture. Kalau orang tanya siapa Abby Latif, apa yang dia tahu pasal buat filem? Saya audience kamu. Since 1982. Itu je.

For me it’s easy. The culture you want to create, you got to live it first.

Sekian mukadimmah hari ini. HAHAHAHA.

Setuju Tak?

In #UWRF13 , almost every writer talks or relates to poetry at some point. In Malaysia, writers are all about films, TV, novels, journalism.

It’s amazing how NONE OF THE MALAYSIAN MEDIA picked up Malaysian writers featured at #UWRF13 | Are we not good enough for you? *sigh*

I think poets di-anak tiri-kan di dalam bidang penulisan di Malaysia despite how emerging and thriving scene it is. Do you agree?

Politikus

Smart-ass political critis/analysts who sits in their posh apartments drinking gourmet coffee complaining the govt depriving people’s rights.

Gone were the days when political critics/analysts are the true heroes championing people’s rights using their knowledge and expertise.

Almost like writers who writes about people’s life from their self-made dungeons having to meet no one in their entire lives.

What’s sad is that ‘we’ (excluding me) thinks that these smart-ass political critics/analysts are so pandai so ‘we’ must listen to them.

Because orang yang kaya, pandai maa. Their access to information and knowledge lagi bagus sebab they go overseas study with orang putih maa.

And of course my grammar berterabur. I pelajar UiTM je.

You want to make a change – go into the system. Learn to navigate it from inside. Clean it.

 

Bongkak

We are so comfortable with help and subsidies that we really think we deserve it.

So what else are you contributing to this country aside from complaints that make you deserving of everything you can get?

You even refused to stand up in the cinema hall for the country’s anthem and you think you deserve every penny of help you should get? I don’t know, regardless the propaganda/agenda, I grew up with a sentimental attachment to the national anthem. I respect it much.

Trust me I am not in favour of a lot of the policies but I refuse to waste time complaining about things I don’t even bother to help change.

I was a complainer. Then I applied for PTD so I can change the system. I didn’t get in. Now I work for NGOs to lobby change.

People should just do and stop complaining. It’s getting irritating to know that they are complaining from the comfort of cafes.

“The ones who are truly suffering probably don’t have the time, sources or patience to complain.” – @mediha_m