Written on 5/26/2004 01:06:00 pm by sikapitan

Movie Review: Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam

Typical me.After being away for so long from entertainment,what did i choose to watch with my gf at TGV KLCC? That's right, another Malay movie.I don't know why, in the midst of Troy, Van Helsing and Shrek2, i chose Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam. Maybe it's genetically embedded in me, but i wasn't like this before.I think, that as i grow older,i want to identify with the Malay culture. And trust me, you'll get the whole gamut of Malay culture when you watch a Malay movie at the cinemas, but not only from the movie itself, but by the audience as well.

Why do we still pride ourself as being a polite society when it is quite evident the current crop of Malay youths can't be bothered with proper manners?Talking loudly in the cinemas,catcalling whenever a 'chun' chick walks by,throwing rubbish all over,giving comments loudly as the scenes are played out ("tak tak,itu datuk dia,yang minat..."etc) and let us not forget, ringing handphones.I know this epidemic of bad manners are NOT exclusive to any particular race, but i can't comment on the others because then they would say i'm racist! And i'm sure that this is merely a case of 'kerana nila setitik rosak susu sebelanga'-most of my friends and colleagues are pretty much well-mannered. But it still annoys me sometimes that we can't even watch a movie without being interrupted. And what about the irony of girls wearing tudung canoodling with their bfs in the cinema?? I feel it's a wee bit hypocritical, but i can emphatize with them.ThE moviee..oh yeah, this IS a movie review isn't it?

Surprise surprise, i came out of the hall with nothing but praises for Shuhaimi Baba. The whole production looks professional, and the long period of production resulted in a wonderfully-executed film. What impresses me most was the cinematography, which benefitted from the use of digital technology. I like the way the two era is portrayed by the filmaker. The difference in colour tone makes the whole 60's era authentic. The sound is also well-executed, without the much-dreaded empty-dubbing-syndrome (you know,the mouth moves differently from the word spoken).Technically, this film gets the thumbs up. Except for the whole pontianak thing, which wasn't as scary as it should have been, but this movie isn't really a horror flick in the mould of others, as the storyline places the emphasis more on the drama side rather than trying to scare you off every 5 minutes.

The story basically revolves around Maya Karin's character in the 60's/70's who was killed while being pregnant by Azri Iskandar because of jealousy. As Malay folklore has it,a pregnant woman killed would return as a pontianak. So the curse continues on until the modern day, when the child returns to avenge the death of her mother. The story is well-executed,with few long gaps of emptiness so prevalent in Malay movies. The fact that this is basically an ensemble, with regular faces from theatre and tv scene making appearances, probably helps it from being boring. Maya Karin didn't have to say much,merely looking demure and seductive in the old days,innocent and confused in the modern day. This she managed to do well.It's great watching someone other than Erra! Azri Iskandar is more goodlooking sporting a moustache and rangy haircut but his acting as the smitten rich man of the pekan is pretty good.Nanu and Ida Nerina are merely sidekicks but they performed with all the conviction that only stage work can give you. Eizlan Eusoff was his normal,hensem jambu self while Kavitha Sidhu looks good and acted great as his wife.Special mention must go to ROSYAM NOR, who again showed us why he's rightly regarded as the best male actor in our industry.This time he wasn't the lead, but he stole the show as the a-little-bit-crazy stepson to azri's character.He was humorous,emotional,angry.He has played the leading man,the romantic,the crazy in his previous films and it shows. However, in such an ensemble, it's pretty difficult to achieve character development so certain relationship between characters remains a mystery.

Other than the non-scary pontianak and some choppy censorship, i would say that this is a step forward in Malaysian cinema. I only wonder if the critical success of the movie would translate to commercial success,considering that it's opening smack in the midst of summer blockbusters from Hollywood.

Conclusion: Worth the rm10 ticket price (btw, why issit RM10 at KLCC?).

aU rEVoir

If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to our feed

No Comment

Post a Comment