Being bullied..


Written on 3/18/2004 10:36:00 am by sikapitan

Watched Afdlin's 'Buli' on Monday at OU. Funny guy, and a funny movie, but not funny enough. It's a comedy. And amazingly our very own BIntang Popular is NOT in this movie. What's even more suprising is the fact that this film is NOT directed by a Prof Madya. Guys, and girls, if you don't know, Prof Madya is an ASSOCIATE Professor, which is not reaaallyy a professor. In fact, almost all my lecturers are Assoc. Professors but they never insisted we call them Prof. And because this film is not directed by the said ASSOC. PROF, it doesn't feature Saiful Apek (admittedly, i love his wacky sense of humour but that doesn't mean i want his mug in every movie poster) or any of the usual suspects (Yusry/Rosyam/Erra) and it has Nasha means that i entered the cinema with 3 out of 5 stars already on my mind. That's how desperate i want to see something different in our local film industry.

Unfortunately, at the end of the movie, i didn't manage to add another star. It's not like it's bad or anything. Afdlin Shauki showcased again his acting chops (and considerable belly). He's getting better and better. I love his natural style of acting (as opposed to Mr.Unnatural, Yusry, although he is getting better as well) and wacky sense of humour. He has the potential to do some serious comedy, the one where the laughs and gags comes from the script, not the body movement. He might not be the handsomest leading actor around, yet he has that anti-hero charm which viewers emphatize with. Hans Isaac did well in a role which is, in my opinion, not challenging enough. We still like to play the Hero vs Villain theme. Maybe our mindset is geared to view the world in Black and white, but the reality is that there's a lot of grays in the middle. It's so easy to hate his character and it's so simple. But then, i guess this is a good thing, considering the complicated mess that unravels halfway through the movie.

Malaysian filmmakers still find it hard to sustain the momentum generated by the firsthalf of a feature film. This is more evident in a comedy film. The laughs just keep on coming for the first 1/2 an hour, where each character is introduced, often with some funny gags thrown in. But once this identification process has been completed, the characters stop growing, and the materials seem to dry up. For example, in Buli, the whole sakit jiwa wad scene is nonsense. The sub-plot of Hans' character trying to steal the code shouldn't be emphasised like it was, taking precedent over the real issue of the movie - how to deal with being overweight. Even the whole weird sci-fi scene, inspired by Robotech i guess, done in 3rd class animation, is a waste of film.

However, it's not all bad. I think Nasha's understated manner is suitable as the Psychiatrist while Hattan was just hilarious in whatever little scene he appears in. Yet, i do believe that we like to have as many stars acting in a single movie, which leads to Kartina Aziz appearing as Nasha's mom or Soraya Dean as Patrick Teoh's (who was damn funny i might add) secretary, serving little in terms of acting. I mean, those parts can be played by anyone with enough acting skills.

Buli is a unique film in a way, and Afdlin has the ability to conjure up better films in the future (maybe they should employ professional script editors to ensure the storyline is relevant and focused).Yet, it is plagued by the typical malay film dilemma - weak storyline and script. Until someone rectifies these inherent problems, i would still say the P.Ramlee era has no equal.

Au revoir

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