(Warning: this review is rated 18 for entirely justified harsh language.)
Wikipedia tells me that 3GP is a format for multimedia (usually video) files recorded or meant to be played on mobile phones. However, it seems the "klip 3GP" referenced in this film's title refers to voyeur videos of a sexual nature traded avidly among horny young Malays - or so I gather, since I am largely unfamiliar with this sordid aspect of modern Malay culture. There are tons of porn available on the internet that are more explicit, not to mention clearer and better-filmed, but it appears the appeal of 3GP clips is its homegrown nature - that they feature local Malay girls. I'm pretty sure they appeal only to Malays; I can't imagine Chinese and Indians getting too worked up over blurry sex videos "starring" local Chinese or Indian girls filmed on cheap handphone cameras. So, this is a thing, and here's a movie that tackles this very thing - a movie that I pondered over whether it's a socially relevant techno-thriller or a sleazy sexploitation flick.
It is not the former. And to call it the latter would be far too complimentary. It is, in fact, a fucking digusting piece of trash.
Eddie (Zahiril Adzim) is this self-made young millionaire online businessman, whose side - or only, it's not at all clear - income appears to be peddling 3GP sex clips. He gets supplied by a number of sources, to whit: three bimbos (Sara Ali, Amanda Misbun and Tasha Shilla) who don't get into any sexual shenanigans but do happen to capture a ghost on video; two slimey mat skodengs (Jojofly O.N.E and Zydee O.N.E) who go as far as spying on women in female restrooms; a camera-obsessed voyeur (Sabhi Saddi) who somehow attracts the interest of a moronic young girl (Faralyna Idris), whose brother happens to be a member of a gang of rapists and murderers (Shafiq Isam, Iskandar Zulkarnian, Din Belon and a couple other scumbags); and finally, Sunny (Fikhree Bakar), who had a one-night stand with a young executive named Maya (Mimi O.N.E) and blackmails her with her sex video, and apparently does this kind of thing all the time with his accomplice girlfriend (Adeline Anthony). So Maya goes apeshit bugfuck crazy - y'know, like women do.
This is Aidilfitri Mohd Yunos' first directorial effort, so I can't tell if he's always this bad. But I recognize screenwriter Sofia J. Rhyland's name from another mind-bogglingly shitty movie, and her ability to tell a story has gotten no better - if it ever existed at all. Its four interweaving storylines have barely anything to do with each other, and it doesn't even have the structure of an anthology film to justify it. It features the film debut of the members of the rap group One Nation Emcees, a.k.a. O.N.E, playing superfluous characters who are there just so O.N.E can have their film debut. The bit with the three bimbos has a spooky long-haired hantu in it for no fucking reason whatsoever - and speaking of those three, the 4-hour drive from Johor Bahru to KL appears to be their idea of a night out on the town. As Eddie updates his website on his canggih-manggih workstation, he likes to keep a video window open filming himself. And it remains a mystery how this supposed millionaire makes a sen off his porn site that doesn't even seem to charge a membership fee.
But the nonsensical plot isn't the movie's biggest problem. That would be its depiction of modern Malay society as a bottomless cesspool of depravity, inhumanity and stupidity. Every male is either an insanely evil sexual predator, or a complete sociopath who can watch a video of a vicious gang-rape and whack off to the victim's tortured screams rather than feel an ounce of sympathy. And every female is either a slut or a slut-in-the-making, who thinks a total fucking stranger filming them with his phone camera is a charming flirt rather than a gross invasion of their privacy. I'm not even fucking kidding about all this. Bad enough there's a dude here who rapes his own sister to death; bad enough there's a blackmailer who calls his victim and tells her he's going to reneg on the deal and ruin her life, just to hear her lose her shit. They'll also laugh, and whoop, and smirk, and sneer, and crow about it to each other while they're at it.
Why? Why would Aidilfitri and Rhyland make such horrible, irredeemable garbage? It's partly because of sexploitation: selling sexual imagery while hypocritically condemning it and those who watch it. But like I said, if it were mere sexploitation, it'd be a better film than it is; the genre is often subversive, made by filmmakers who sneak in ideas such as "sex is a natural human instinct, and can also be pretty awesome yo" past the moral censors. Aidilfitri and Rhyland seem to think their film is a cautionary tale - that people are supposed to watch this and be inspired to lead wholesome and godly lives. Which is not only laughable in how it does the exact opposite, it also reflects the exceedingly fucked-up sexual mores and customs amongst modern Malays. This is a society in which something as basic to human nature as dating - the process of discovering one's self and one's requirements in a life partner, through romantic relationships with different people - is denied to most young Malays via moral and religious censure.
Yes, this is fucked up. I am Chinese, non-Muslim, of a particularly liberal bent, partial to Western societal standards, and I think the Malay attitude towards sex is fucked up. Oh, I know not all Malays are like this - I know there are healthy, well-adjusted, non-misogynist, non-sexually-repressed Malays out there. But they never say anything; we only hear from folks like the Obedient Fucking Wives' Club. They don't make any movies; people like Aidilfitri and Rhyland make movies, preaching their fucked-uppery in cineplexes all over the nation. A movie that portrays Malays as the vilest, most repugnant, most wretched people on earth. A movie that is itself the product of an equally vile and repugnant point of view. A movie that made me write these things, in this review, with that unapologetically provocative title. A movie that made me fucking angry, not just at it, but at the whole goddamn Malay race.
Not to mention angry at the cast, who play these despicable people and look like they're having a ball doing it. Oh, I know I should feel sorry for them instead. I'm sure Zydee and Jojofly don't want to be hated as much as the intensely hateable mat skodengs they play. I'm sure Din Belon doesn't want people to think he's a giggling, grinning, inhuman monster. And I'm sure Faralyna Idris wants to be known for more than just the disturbing amount of leg she showed in her gang-rape scene. So I want to ask: what the fuck were you guys thinking!? Did Mimi actually think the role of Maya - who is alternately a drunken slut, a sobbing, self-pitying emotional wreck, and a raving icepick-waving psycho - would be a "challenge" to her nascent acting talents? I especially want to pose that question to Zahiril Adzim, who is the most experienced actor here and also the one whose presence I find most disappointing. I'd always thought you were an intelligent and thoughtful fellow. What the fuck were you thinking? Did you not know what kind of shit you were in?
I remember once when I happened to turn on the TV, and U-Wei Haji Saari's Perempuan, Isteri dan...? came on - specifically, the violent climactic scene. Then my dad walked in, glanced at it for a few seconds, and muttered something like, "Malays... such savage people." Now, I have no wish to paint my father as a racist (and yes, he was terribly unfair to U-Wei's film). But it doesn't take a racist to watch Klip 3GP and come away with a deep fear and loathing of Malay people. That's exactly what this movie would do to a non-Malay who watches it. It'll make them fear that the next Malay dude they see is a vicious psychopath out to rob and murder and rape them and their loved ones, rather than a regular guy just trying to get by with his life. The silver lining in all this is that it'll almost certainly flop, because Malay audiences are still too conservative about such overt sexual material. But truth is, they shouldn't not watch it because it's sexy. They should not watch it, because it is a film that does real damage to Malaysian society, staining the souls of those who watched it in insidious ways and irrevocably befouling those involved in making it.
NEXT REVIEW: The Thing (2011)
Expectations: eager to see how it compares to the original