Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Monday, 18 February 2008

Well Malay Sleeper Movie Hits Do Exist

My daughters has been pestering me to see ‘Dunia Baru The Movie’, a Malay version of one those TV series that has made the jump to the movies. It has been ages since the wife and I have seen a Malay movie at the cinemas, usually because we do not think it is worthwhile to pay good money at the Cineplex when the movie will surely be shown at the idiot box when the next festival season comes around. Another thing is because we have not been following the series like the kids, so we thought we would not have been able to follow the story line as is usually the case with such a TV series jump to the movies. However since the kid were so persistent and the movie itself seems to have staying power beyond the compulsory screening period with good takings compared to its nearest competition, we gave in thinking in the worst case scenario both mum and I can at least get a good rest while the kids enjoyed themselves.

Well it is nice to be surprised sometimes as the movie was truly enjoyable, able to stand on its own without you needing to know much background from the TV series, though I guess those who have been following the series would have enjoyed some scenes more. As it is the movie’s comedy was done very well, without any slapstick and flows out very naturally to make you laugh out loud just looking at the funny scenes. Being a comedic road movie helps with the plot as there is no real plot to digest, you just need to follow the pitfalls that befall the cast on their journey to get the jokes. And being based on a TV series, the ending itself was quite neutral as the producers would not have wanted those who were following the series but who did not watch the movie to lose the plot in the new season. So it concluded with the cast returning to their normal lives, with no big impact to shock viewers when the series proper starts the new season. Thus like I said before it is a stand alone movie that should not frighten those who have not been following the series into not watching it, as otherwise you would be missing a very good comedy movie. Especially since the way the comedy was shot is very refreshing, as it has been a long time since I saw a Malay movie, comedic or otherwise that was not trying too hard to make you laugh. I think the last great Malay movies that were able to do that were in the era of the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee.

Nonetheless this posting is no real movie review, so you have to look elsewhere to get the plot or commentary on the technicalities of the movie itself. Yet I would like to congratulate the production crew especially the director, who I have only known before acting as an unassuming comedic actor, so I am surprised to watch his refreshing touch in this movie. It is about time Malay movies reclaim their renaissance with the horror genre leading the pack, though the copycats will then tend to submerge the diamonds in the rough, so you need either luck or patience to unearth such sleeper hits. Some coming trailers like ‘Congkak’ and ‘Duyong’ seems to hold promise the we have really entered the renaissance wave, so we may yet soon watch more Malay movies at the cinemas as a family.

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