Senario Asam Garam
I had to. I cannot be TMBF, fearless chronicler of local films no matter how bad, if I've never seen a Senario movie. There have now been 9 of 'em since 1999; they're practically a national institution, for better or worse. And I've already missed out on one, and skipped another movie that starred two of the group. So, no more excuses, no more ignorant assumption that they're shitty, time to bite the bullet and go watch the latest one and see for myself exactly how shitty they are.
Okaylah, taklah taik sangat. Tapi busuk jugak.
Adam (Azlee Jaafar) and Asam (Zaibo) are contractors who frequently compete for jobs, as well as the affections of the MILFy Hawa (Julia Hana), whose warong brings all the boys to her yard. (She can teach you, but she'd have to charge.) When a mysterious fire burns the place down, Adam and his partner Tam (Sathiya) are first to help her build a new warong, because Hawa's son Amin (Shafimie Saedon) and her sisters Odah (Nadia Mustafar) and Yan (Adeline Tsen) are sweet on him already. But Asam isn't out of the game yet, and he and his assistant Garam (Mazlan Pet Pet) have some no good to get up to.
Now, perhaps I'm not getting the full Senario experience here, since this particular go-around is missing one-third of the usual Senario crew; Wahid is not in this. So we have Zaibo to fill in for him, and from what I can see he fits right in. Apa yang ko expect dari filem Senario, semua ada - Azlee and Lan Pet Pet asyik buat muka sewel, the rest of the cast berlakon over-the-top gilebabi, dan setakat itulah komedi dalam filem ini. Lawak yang hanya dianggap kelakar oleh budak berumur 7 tahun, atau orang dewasa yang otaknya terencat pada tahap umur 7 tahun. (And by the way, I was right - this is the exact same kind of thing that fans of Phua Chu Kang enjoy.) Tapi sekurang-kurangnya, filem ni ada jalan cerita, sepertimana yang di-intended-kan oleh penulis-pengarahnya Profesor Hatta Azad Khan.
Sebenarnya artikel kat link tu buat aku ketawa. Kalau adanya jalan cerita ialah sesuatu yang baru untuk filem Senario, jadi filem-filem Senario yang sebelum ni memang tak ada jalan cerita? Plotnya cuma "kumpulan Senario berada di suatu tempat dan buat lawak sukati diorang"? I haven't watched them so I wouldn't know, but I guess so lah kan? Takpe, takpe; kita reviu filem ni, bukan filem-filem tu. And I suppose it's a good thing that there's an actual plot, and that Azlee and Lan play actual characters instead of just dua ahli kumpulan Senario yang hilang sorang. Even then, it's pretty clear that the plot is way too slight to fill its 83-minute running time.
There's a bit early on in which Asam sends Garam to make an offer to Hawa to rebuild her warong - and next thing we see, Odah and Yan are chasing after him with penyapu dan rotan. Now, see what I did there? I made it sound like a Gilligan Cut. Wahai Tuan Pengarah Profesor Hatta, ko reti tak abende tu Gilligan Cut? It's one of the most basic filmic comedy gags, and if done well it's always funny. You missed a prime opportunity there to do a Gilligan Cut, and frankly, I know why - it's because that gag depends on economy of storytelling and snappy comic timing. And you can't have that, because cerita ko tu tak cukup untuk penuhkan masa. Ko kena tariiiik panjang-panjang, sampai jaguh Cabaran TariKing F&N pun kalah ngan ko.
So yes, it's very very slow-moving. Whatever jokes that aren't completely bangang betul are ruined by being dragged out long past the point where they could ever be funny. And I can think of at least one scene the movie should've had but didn't. Kenapa Adam dan Asam tak pernah bertemu sehingga ending? In any movie where the hero and villain are rivals, there should be a scene that sets up this rivalry; this scene will then establish how dastardly the villain is, and how awesome the hero is. (Alternatively, it shows the hero losing to the villain, but in such a way that we sympathise with and root for him.) Ini takde. Ntah nape. Frankly, other than that Zaibo overacts his kejahatan, I'm not even sure why we're supposed to root for Adam, or why Hawa's family likes him so much. Ini panggil Designated Hero.
Random thoughts: Julia Hana is a perfectly pleasant-looking lady, but adeke dia hawt sangat? Aku lebih rela nak renung Adeline Tsen yang jauh lagi kiut. For a family whose sole livelihood is a single warong, Hawa and Co. sure live in a damn fine kampung house. Oh, and I thought it's nice that little Amin is this electronics whiz kid, whose talents are even put to use in the movie's climax. I may be grasping at straws, but watak yang cerdik dan pandai memang jarang dalam filem Melayu. And Shafimie Saedon has a bright future ahead of him; tak bolehlah nak kata lakonan dia bagus, but he was comfortable in his role, which is promising for a child actor. Tapi in the end, ini sebuah filem Senario, yang formulanya tak ubah-ubah selama 14 tahun. Berapa lama nak sebat kuda yang dah mati ni? Korang dah basi dah. Dah busuk dah. Dah reput sampai jadi gas asli dah.
NEXT REVIEW: Wheat
Expectations: Fan Bingbing *drool*