Friday, March 18, 2011

Fashionista's Movie Review: Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa

I have been anticipating this movie. Nope, not because it's a Malay movie. Some people are so against Malay movies and some are so for it. For me, it depends on what type of movie it is. And in this case, the first time I heard about the movie was when I googled Kukubesi. And you must be wondering what on earth is Kukubesi (or literally translated to nails of steel or something to that effect).

A few weeks back (somewhat in February) I had the opportunity of attending a photography talk that focuses on editing and one of the more notable photoeditors in Malaysia is a man who goes by the name Kukubesi. He designs and edits some of KRU production movies and album covers and among them is the one for Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa.

This is the movie poster for this movie's international release.

This movie largely revolves around the history of Merong Mahawangsa (by the way, Hikayat means Tales in English so Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa means The Tales of Merong Mahawangsa) who was discovered by Marcus (the prince of Rome) who was stranded in Goa. His ship and crew perished in the high seas on the way to his wedding to the Princess of China. Merong was accidentally discovered in the midst of fighting a huge Indian man (the Indian's sister wanted to run away with Merong and the man challenged him to a duel) and it was when Merong defeated the Indian that Marcus was so impressed with his skills that he employed Merong to bring him to Langkasuka (or Kedah as it is known today) to meet his future bride. And so that is how the story goes.

I would have to confess that I am really impressed with the movie. Although it is an epic movie, I certainly did not expect the movie to be alike to Lord of the Rings. And nor the movie is similar to LOTR. However, I do like the strong storyline. I loved the fact that KRU blended the movie with computer generated images (CGI) and a lot of effects to help blend the journey and the story being played out. I do like the story behind the two waging villages, Geruda and Langkasuka, and also how it all started and the villains in the movie (Kemawas and Taji) are spectacular in their performance.

However, I do admit that there are a lot of rooms for improvement in this movie. Firstly, I do think that they could have done better with the wigs for Kesum. Seriously, that huge pile of white hair looks too fake, especially on the head of Datuk Rahim Razali. And fight scenes needs further coordination. Some of the actors looked as if they were just playing around during the fight scenes and this one scene with Jehan Miskin was overkill.

Other than that, I'd say I am really proud of the accomplishments that KRU have done and hope that this is another milestone in the Malaysian movie industry. Bravo KRU! Keep up the good work and soon we will be as good as LOTR and Pirates of the Caribbean (I truly hope so).

See y'all at the movies!

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

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