Syurga kepala HOTAK engkau! ~ That Movie Blogger Fella

Monday, June 15, 2009

Syurga kepala HOTAK engkau!

Syurga Cinta
My rating:

(Warning: this review contains copious profanity. Apologies for not keeping the blog family-friendly, but believe me, this movie deserves it.)

So the premise of this movie isn't exactly original: hip young dude falls for demure God-fearing chick. It's your basic opposites-attract romance, and how the formula works is that guy and girl find that their differences complement each other. Naturally the dude will learn humility and develop a more spiritual outlook on life, so therefore the chick must also learn to let her hair down, be more spontaneous, and have fun.

Yeah, and pigs'll fly outta my ass and do the Hokey Pokey.

Irham (Awal Ashaari) is this spoiled rich asshole who's such a playa, he makes thousand-ringgit bets with his equally asshole friends on which chicks he can pull. One day he makes a bet to seduce the sweet, virginal, tudung-clad Syuhadah (Heliza), then dump her exactly a month later in front of his dumbass friends just for the lulz. Luckily, she happens to be his 8-year-old brother Ikmal's (Hadziq) schoolteacher, so he ropes in the fucking annoying kid to help him get in her pa--I mean, win her heart. But whaddya know, he starts falling for her for serious reals yo, and along the way he's all like, say, aren't I supposed to be, y'know, Muslim?

Ya Allah, this was the worst movie I've seen in a loooong time. Preachy, heavy-handed, pretentious, misogynistic, filled with horribly on-the-nose dialogue, populated by one-dimensional caricatures played by crap actors, and possessing a truly fucked-up sense of spirituality and morality. Where should I start??

Well, let's tackle the basic spine of the story first. As Irham gets closer to Syuhadah, he begins to realize the emptiness of his hard-partying, womanizing lifestyle, and finds solace in religion. Irham's crisis of faith and conscience is developed in a gradual, believable mannaaaHAHAHAHAAAAHA!! Um, sorry. That was not happy laughter.

And this Syuhadah chick. She is not a person. She has no personality, no interests, no hopes or dreams or ambitions, no distinguishing characteristics other than schoolteacher (nor do we ever see her do any teaching). There isn't a word that escapes her lips that isn't a homily on the importance of remembering Allah. Her relationship with Irham has literally zero impact on her life - after all, the fact that she's nothing more than an idealized model Malay woman and wife means she can't have any meaningful character development. 'Cos then she'd have to change, and she can't change when she's already perfect.

And we have this moronic and hackneyed plot about the guy tackling the girl just to win a bet. So Irham goes ahead with it - he takes her to meet his douchebag friends, tell her the entire past month was all an act, humiliate her and send her off in tears. Fucking why?? What do those two jerkwad friends have over him anyway? We already know he's rich, it can't be because of the money they're betting. He's learning how to sembahyang from her, reading the tafsir al-Quran book that she bought him, listening to ceramah with her, falling in love with her - then he goes ahead and emotionally brutalizes her. Irham may be nowhere close to a realistic character, yet this act of his makes no motherfucking sense given what we've seen of him up to that point.

And then she takes him back. She takes him back. Sure, she's all righteous and pissy with him for a while. But then the movie gives us its final moral lesson for every good Malay Muslim woman - a man can deceive you, manipulate your emotions, publicly humiliate you and break your heart, but if he apologizes really really hard, then it's okay. You should forgive him. You can love him. Heck, why not even marry him!

I have barely even mentioned the kid. The kid is not cute. The kid is not funny. The kid avoids the distinction of being the most annoying character in the movie because Irham's two buddies win that title by a landslide. And then there's Irham and Ikmal's parents, and I gotta say this about them - the movie tries hard to make them look depraved and sinful, what with their drunken nights out and their evil, evil karaoke singing (of Frank Sinatra's My Way, no less. Evil!). But they come across as nothing more than a happy old couple still in love enough to enjoy each other's company. Is it maksiat if they're married?

Awal Ashaari sucks. He's believable as an idle rich douchebag, but no amount of tears and melodramatic sobbing can convince us when it comes time for him to bertaubat and stuff. Heliza is awful. I can count the number of her facial expressions on one hand. Their dialogue may have been atrocious, but I can quite confidently say that their acting truly made the least of it.

That's it. Enough. I'm done with this piece of shit. I want to bleach the 90 minutes I spent watching this movie out of my brain. This is a wretched stain on the Malaysian film industry, a truly worthless waste of celluloid. Fuck you, Syurga Cinta. Fuck you and everyone who helped spawn you.

NEXT REVIEW: Drag Me to Hell
Anticipation level: please redeem my faith in cinema as a valid artform, pleeeeaase


McGarmott said...

This is missing the point but ... heck, you coulda known from watching the trailer, right? Correct me if I'm wrong but: aren't ALL Malaysian movies as bad as that? Preachiness, utter and complete lack of proper sense in character development (i.e. completely illogical character choices), atrocious dialogue ...

And that kid was fucking annoying right from the trailer. I was covering my ears when I was buying tickets in proximity of the trailer screen or, God forbid, while it was playing before a movie.

And here's the question: the other people with you in the cinema enjoyed it, right? Right?

TMBF said...

I watched it in a near-empty cinema. There were a few titters during some scenes with the kid, but that was it.

Call me hopelessly naive, but... I'm doing this because I think local films need critical reviews. I haven't found a single decent review of this film online - every mention of it has been the usual inane "aku rasa cite ni bes gak"-type comment. The Malaysian film industry will never improve without someone to point at crap like this and call it out for the crap that it is. And I WANT it to improve.

McGarmott said...

That's fair enough. I can agree with that.

There's a 'but' ... but I decided not to say it, hehe.

TMBF said...

Got something to say, say laa. :)

chicnchomel said...

Watched some parts on I respect giler kat you lah bro...can finish the whole movie, bro..terror lah bro, malaysia boleh bro....Bro, wassup with the overuse of BRO in this damn 90s ok!!

Dzof said...

"I can count the number of her facial expressions on one hand."

I'm wondering: Do you have amputated fingers or something?