Aduhai bodohnya movie ni ~ That Movie Blogger Fella

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Aduhai bodohnya movie ni

Duhai Si Pari-Pari
My rating:

I think I'm beginning to get into this whole Malay movie thing. F'rinstance, this one - I actually had an inkling that it might be good. Que Haidar was pretty decent in two films I've seen him in, and Liyana Jasmay was terrific in Papadom too. And Harun Salim Bachik may be our film industry's most reliable funnyman next to Afdlin Shauki. Yes, I've watched enough Malay films to recognize actors, especially the ones that have done good work. Seeing their names in an upcoming movie's poster or trailer bodes well for me; it almost makes me look forward to it.

That is, until I actually go watch the wretched thing.

Syadon (Que Haidar) is a loser amongst losers. His latest misfortune is his girlfriend Mala (Nabila Huda) turning out to be a conwoman who robs him of his savings together with her partner-in-crime Budi (Remy Ishak). His luck turns when he discovers a magic lamp teapot, out of which emerges a genie fairy magical something-or-other named Pari (Liyana Jasmay). Pari is on a quest to seek true love in the human world, and for some godforsaken reason thinks she can find it in Syadon. But her father Para (Harun Salim Bachik) has set her a deadline; if Syadon doesn't fall for her before then, she will "lenyap dari dunia", i.e. die. WTF kind of deal is that??

And WTF is up with Que Haidar in this thing?? He plays Syadon as an absolute retard, mugging shamelessly for the camera, thinking his idiot grin is all it takes to draw a laugh, and generally being annoying gila babi nak mampus. Is this what you call acting? Start sampai habis macam cacat otak? In 105 minutes (waaaay too long), he has totally destroyed my impression of him as a solid actor; I can't even think kindly of his performances in Setem and Papadom anymore. If I were to be generous, I could lay some of the blame on writer-director Azmi Mohd Hata's feet - but frankly, Que's performance was all his. He looked like he was going all improv there, really throwing himself into the role. Nice one Que, so glad you had fun making this movie, maybe for your next one you could show up at some screenings and kick a few audience members in the nuts.

But it's not like Azmi comes off smelling like roses either. Eh Encik Pengarah, ko tau tak the most important thing in comedy? Timing. That's something yang ko tak reti langsung, isn't it? Dahlah your jokes not funny, summore you drag them out just to let your actors (*coughQuecough*) annoy the living shit out of the audience even more. And you wrote this thing too, didn't you? Why does Pari fixate on Syadon as her one true love, just because he's the guy who picked her teapot out of a trash heap? Why are you so goddamn coy about what Pari is anyway? Or was she originally a genie, but then Jin Notti came out, so you made a quick switch to fairies, but you still got her coming out of a teapot, so now your konsep dah lari lintang pukang? And seriously, what kinduva moronic law is this in which fairies get wiped out of existence if they don't find love? Even Jin Notti's jin world was better developed.

Holy God yes, this is a movie that makes Jin Notti look good. Nothing about the fantasy elements make any sense. Pari and Para have your usual near-omnipotent (read: arbitrary) magical powers, but they only ever use them as dictated by the film's SFX budget, not the story. We don't ever see any other fairies, nor the "dunia kayangan" they're supposedly from. Fantasy tak kena, comedy pun tak kena, but the most epic of its fails is in the romance department. How are we supposed to root for Syadon to get together with Pari when he's so insanely stupid? There's gotta be a scene where he realizes he has feelings for her, and it's just not gonna work if he's been an insensitive moron all this time. But you realized that, didn't you, Encik Azmi? You knew how badly you and Encik Que had screwed up the character, and that's why you put in a voiceover - a frickin' voiceover - to flat-out tell the audience that tetiba Syadon cintakan Pari? Ini ko panggil filmic storytelling??

Fortunately, Duhai Si Pari-Pari has two good things that Jin Notti doesn't - they go by the names of Liyana Jasmay and Harun Salim Bachik. Liyana is still super adorable even when she's following Azmi's "direction", which is to do that exaggeratedly stupid schtick. But her role does call for her to express some genuine emotion - a practice known as "acting" - which she pulls off quite nicely. And I'm really getting to like Harun both as a comedian and a dramatic actor; there's a scene in which his daughter asks him if he's ever been in love, and his wordless and quickly-hidden expression says he has. (Which is some genuinely compelling dramatic material, not that Azmi would know that from his ass.) The fact that he keeps the schtick to a minimum, in a shitty "comedy" like this, is also testament to his talent. Certainly nobody else in this movie does - not Nabila Huda or Remy Ishak. Ini bukan panggil berlakon lah - ini panggil perangai bodoh.

But the most bodoh sebodoh-bodohnya is Que. For all that I've been laying the shit on Azmi, he deserves just as much of the blame. I mean, I've said it before; we have some real, genuine onscreen talent, in the form of solid actors like Liyana and Harun. It's the hacks and the idiots and the couldn't-give-a-shits behind the cameras that make almost every goddamn Malay movie macam sekeping taik. Still, I've resolved to watch and review 'em. And I'll still look out for the names of those I've been impressed with, and expect good things from the next film they're involved in. But not you, Que Haidar. You're dead to me.

Expectations: none. Nada. Zero. Zilch


Afdlin Shauki said...

i love your review. very unabashedly honest. By the way latest i've heard que has quit acting. but he managed to do a movie for me called Misteri jalan lama. and he was really good in it. hehehe. trust me. don't lose faith.

TMBF said...

Aiyar. Now I feel bad for belasah-ing him so much.

On a separate note, w00t! Afdlin Shauki reads my blog! :D

McGarmott said...

Dude, you know what would be great for the M'sian film industry? If we make more of the public read your stuff. You should publish a book of your reviews by the end of this year - you know, like Leonard Maltin or Roger Ebert does once in a while. And when people read your scathing reviews of Malay movies in contrast of the other movies you've seen - basically virtually every single one of them fuckers - maybe they'll start thinking. Or not.

TMBF said...

A book deal? I rike. Yes please. :)

chicnchomel said...

oh my god....afdlin! betul ke???

nisa said...

i want to watch this movie..unfortunately i've found your comment 1st..hahahha..
But it's ok, i like liana jasmay's acting...
Que's acting is so-so la...does not impress me...

afdlin : pliz produce more n more movie..huhu..memang la,filem melayu nih byk kureng,tp kalo byk,mesti ada sangkut 1,2 yg best.

TMBF : keep commenting :-bd well done...moga-moga kritikan ini bleh kasik cabaran kat artis2 sume :-bd