Words of Wisdom ...or so it seems...


Friday, 20 July 2007

Here's to future Tan Sri Afdlin Shauky !!!

I finally watched “Sumo Lah”. The original VCD of course. I can’t bear the thought of being partly responsible for killing the local film industry, enough killings done at work, in the hospital…

My review? It is brilliant. It’s got all the essential elements of a well balanced movie. Comedy, suspense, happiness, sadness (although no dead elephants involved), all orchestrated for the audience to be gifted with good take home messages. It is very entertaining and educational. What is missing however is the audience response, as shown by the total turn up at the cinema while it was running for hardly a week.

The movie portrays a lot of Japanese culture. Practices like "Nokotta", means "win or loose, nothing is ascertain until it is, and one has to fight till the end". It also portrays negative aspects of the Malays, the laid back, not wanting to improve attitude for one. Perhaps this had offended many Malays. We do not like to have the obvious stated, point blank at our faces.

Take the book from Tun Mahathir, "The Malay Dilemma" for example. When the book was first published, it was banned. It is a well known fact that most Malays do not like to be told of their shortcomings. We like to live in this bubble and tend to shun anyone who burst it. Which is sad really. Because, for one to improve and move forward in life, he must first realise his shortcommings, no matter how painful the truth appears to be. Without self realization, without admitting to your own inner self, that something is lacking, then there is no way he would think of a way of improving,let alone moving forward.

The Japanese are so very much advanced in technology, yet they still preserve certain moral, integrity and self respect as way of life. Why can't we take the good values of any civilization and make it our own, instead of be arrogant of our deficiencies??

"Sumo Lah" is just about as intellectually entertaining movie as any movie can get and realistic too. Afdlin Shauky actually took the initiative to take the cast to Japan and document the actual Sumo warriors practicing( the suspense aspect of the movie, everyone suspen when the Sumo fighters' big pampers were going to fall!!) . I just don't get it!! If our people can spend hours watching wrestling till late morning, at the kedai kopi, even when knowing that everything was a big act, why can't they appreciate Sumo, and more importantly,the values that comes along with it?

Failure of this movie in cinemas most likely have to do with the Malay preferences,indirectly, revealing our mentality. There are Malays out there, who would cut queue in traffic jam and probably double park, not caring if fine was imposed, long as they get to catch, in time, movies like " Cinta antara dua benua" or "Hingga Hujung Nyawa" or "Gerak Khas, the Movie". I do not mean to sound condescending, but in some of our local movies,why is it that even in the beaming brain-sizzling hot KL sun, a private investigator or the bad guys will always wear leather jacket (and dark shades even when the scene extended into the night time) ??? For God's sakes its hardly below 35degrees celcius under the malaysian sun, loose those insulating attire!!! Have you seen an actual undercover cop, or a bad guy? The last thing they would want to do is to attract attention by dressing like Mr Bean!!!

Our audience must be pretty tolerant because I would not tolerate it if the movie makers think I have intelligence size of a peanut. In fact, I would feel offended, people undermining my IQ.

I guess, Afdlin made two big mistakes, for this movie to become a success:

No 1, the delay that was inconveniently close to "Spider Man 3". You know Malaysians would rather see the Mat Salleh rather than any Asians wear cawat (Its a mental block thingy). Then came "Shrek 3", "Fantastic Four" , all the blockbuster movies. Man it is career suicide.

No 2, he was just born too early for his time. My daughter loves the movie, she's twelve. Perhaps, Afdlin's movies would be appreciated when he's dead. That is what we do to our artists. Wait for them to die then appreciate them. P. Ramlee was "Peeeeeyyyyyy daaaa" Ramlee towards the end of his life, and he died in a sad state of isolation from society. It was more than a decade later, the mentality of the society finally caught up with his brilliance. If I were the late P. Ramlee, I would tell everyone to shove the Tan Sri title up their arses. What good is it to be appreciated when you are not aware of the appreciation.

It is so sad that Malays like to watch love stories, ghost stories, stories that has little relevance to human developement. It is sad that, because of market demands, film maker do not want to not profit big by continuing to produce love stories, ghost stories. It is worrying to realise that my people are just interested in only love stories Even the ghost stories have to have love stories in them. ( should call it Cinta antara dua Hantu).

The same goes to our writings. The other day, I was at the shop looking for a Malay Novel for my daughter, to improve her Bahasa Malaysia. All I could find were novels with title like, "Cinta di hujung Benua", "Antara Kau dan Aku", " Ku relakan perpisahan ini" and I have to stop here because as I am typing this, I could feel my dinner about to gush out through my throat. In the end, I walked out with " Lots of Lat".

It is sad that Afdlin did not get his box office response, that I feel he deserved. But it is more sad, to realise that although there is improvement in the intellectuality of my people (the minority) , the malaise, i mean the Malays, there is still a long way to go for the majority to catch up with the minority. We have a long way to go. Being arrogant and obstinately resillient towards mental devopement isn't going to get us anywhere.

I would like to say "Nokotta!!" to Afdlin Shauky, Yasmin Ahmad and a handful more, for their courage to change the Malay mentality through their creativity , even though by doing so, they create a lot of controversy, hence put their career at risk. To my eyes, they are already Tan Sri-s. I hope they will know it before they leave us for good, physically I meant....


yuteqa said...

You must be lonely to go see some overfed asian guys in their underwear.
Either you are comparing yourself to Tun Mahathir or coming close to visit taiping ISA lockup

Hazidi said...

Those overfed Asian guys are a multibillion USD industry in Japan and beyond. So, I think yuteqa needs to examine his or her understanding of things asian before even considering typing more idiotic imbecilic mindless prattle.
As Afdlin, Yup, I have to admit I have enjoyed every single movie he has made. I hope he can keep the momentum up. His stuff is far more enjoy to watch than Yasmin's.

pah nur said...

Guys guys..take a chill pill.

I'm sure yuteqa is just clowning around with my sumo cawat...Its always longgar, considering my size.
I don't mind the ISA actually, at least i get time off from work and get free food. As for torture, what better time to discover if i'm into masuchism or otherwise...hehe..
aflin takes the lead because he has this 'tak kering gusi' sense fo humor. Yasmin produces the "ali, ah chong, mutu" kind of movies, to help build bridges amongst races, which is cool.

Hazidi said...

Lets publish a movie. In it we can put,
1. satay kajang.
2. love stories that evolve around satay kajang.
3. legends evolving around sayat kajang.
4. views from the satay kajang industry and
5. human drama evolving around satay kajang. And we can call the movie - KAJANG: cinta dicucuk satay.

pah nur said...

Dey...just because your lungs developed by inhaling bau satay since puberty, doesn't mean people would buy the idea of "Satay the Movie" although I'd rather see that than "Gerak Khas the movie"...I cannot understand how Yusof Haslam, who cancno act, pi direct film. The blind leading the blind is it? And he got Datokship for his "achievements"....

Typical malaysians. In malaysia, kalau lawa sikit, macam kawan kite Wafa ( still having a crush on her? or relieved now that god did not answer your puberty prayers?), musti jadi famous punye..lagi baik kalau boleh menyanyi and berlakun...

selambakodok said...

Thank you for your kind words. I also think that you are a good writer and have a great sense of humour. When i make movies, what i want is for people to experience something and then be responsive to their experience. I really am happy that it got that response from you. I love this country (as i can feel u do to) and i want us to move forward and grow, for the good of our children. If i manage to move but just one person.... that would be a victory that no one can take away from me. We must fight on. Sissys sit and do nothing but talk shit about other peoples actions. More power to you pah nur.

pah nur said...

Thanx Tan Sri. Coming from Mr Funny man himself, it means a lot to me.

Don't just continue doing what you're passionate about, success will almost always ensue..I said "almost" because there are people here in Malaysia yang kengkadang pendengki alam and greedy.

I suspect the cinemas subotaged your Sumolah. I have people coming to me saying sometimes the tickets sales people would insist cinema goers to purchase tickets for imported even though they requested for our local films.

Suggest you bring the matter up malaysian film maker ascociation. Send investigators pretending to purchase tickets and see what really happen at the ticketing level.

Whatever it is, looking forward to your next project. This time around, gua tak kasi can sama in taukey panggung yang durjana. Hari pertama pembukaan , ambik emergency leave ker, MC ker lepas tu bawak anak beranak cucu cicit sepupu sepapat pergi beratur depan panggung. Bawak kemah kite kemah depan ticketing booth. Ajar sikit depa tu...