Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tossed salads and scrambled eggs....

I'm Listening....NOT!
At some point in our lives some of us do feel the pulling need to be philosophical. To ponder over the meaning of life. Or to wonder where it's heading. Or in my case at the moment, the effect of 2 migraine pills I downed earlier is rendering me sleepless with a touch of nausea and the inane need to paint the town red. At 3 am. Yes indeed. But then again it could also be the fact that I'm overdosing myself with episodes of Frasier. Too much psycho babble pouring out of my tv screen is making me deliberate on who sounds more ridiculous, Freud or Jung. It has been awhile since I've carried on aimlessly on this site. Usually my anger has a specific target. If you recall, the previous object of my rage was a Malay movie called Ombak Rindu. To be fair I am still pissed at that. I've just been able to minimize the need to break something everytime I hear that title. The sound of glass shattering at the peak of one's anger does bring about a sense of calmness. Frasier is an example of good tv though. But that's another story. Back to being pointlessly philosophical at 3am, I have been thinking a lot of leaving the 18 to 30 age group lately. I realize that a lot of doors will be closed to me once March 24th comes a-knockin'. I shall no longer qualify to audition for tv singing competitions. Most of these shows have an age cut off of 30. Not that I ever tried to audition or harbour any intentions of doing so. But at least I still can. Just the knowledge that I can still do it if I wanted to provides another sense of calmness. However come March 24th this year, that door will be sealed beyond breaking. The big 3-0 is nothing compared to the big 3-1. Trust me, turning 30 was not that big of a deal. I flipped out for all of 5 seconds and then I realized that I didn't really feel all that different. But now, 2 months away from the big 3-1 and I can't quite shake off the feeling of dread, despair and wondering if I'm going to turn into a decrepit. Exaggerating yes, I know. But that's how I feel. My knees hurt, my back hurts, I can't even get up without groaning. But the physical ailments are not what's worrying me the most. I've been having back pains for years now, perhaps that is more reflective of how much Coke I down. Again, that's another story. I have also come to the realization that I am no longer a good listener. No I don't need a hearing aid, but my proverbial ear is no longer as receptive as it used to be. And that's another story for another time. As for now, I think I should wait out the nausea while Frasier goes into another argument with Daphne, and then get some sleep. Too much pondering at this hour will only result in me rambling on until I hit something I'm angry at, and that would result in something else breaking in this house. I don't think that's wise. It would only be a matter of time before I'm pissed off enough to hurl my laptop across the room. No doubt I've felt like doing that on many occasions. Sanity prevented it though. Whatever's left of it, at least. If you're concerned, no I'm not crazy. Just a tad bit eccentric. And filled with incessant rage. What do you expect? For as long as there are idiots on the road, and freaks who cut queues, and morons who double park, there will always be the sound of something shattering to bits in my apartment.

Monday, January 2, 2012

There's just not enough tissues in the world....

Sedih. Sebak. I admit I am a little behind in watching Ombak Rindu. Heard rave reviews about it, but I did not get a chance to see it at the cinema. 2 days ago, I finally got around to watching it. And I do agree, I felt like crying. The reviews I read before this, the comments I saw on twitter and facebook were right about one thing. It does make you cry. After the movie was over, I felt sad. Sedih. Sebak. Sememangnya Ombak Rindu mampu mengundang air mata. Kenapa? For the 2 hours of my life that I will never ever get back! If I could turn back time, I would. Silly me, I was duped yet again. Dulu it was Lagenda Budak Setan. Glorious reviews all around. Hebat. Memang boleh nangis. Filem terbaik. Yada yada yada. Bull effing shit. I rarely swear online, unless I'm extremely pissed off. And you bet your sweet patooties the movie pissed me off. This time though I was a bit more prepared than I was during the Lagenda Budak Syaitoon hype. I went in with eyes wide open. The minute I heard that it was an Osman Ali flick, I knew there was reason enough to be sceptical. Just look at his track record in movie-making. People can change, yes. There was a slim chance he had gotten better, but still, I hung on to my scepticism. Logic dictates that you just don't go from the flop that was Anak Halal to an alleged 11 million untung movie save for a miracle. And trust me there was no miracle in his direction of Ombak Rindu (which from this point onwards shall be referred to as Ombak Schizoid – reason to be divulged later). If anything it was a disastrous calamity equivalent to a train wreck.All I can say about his direction is that he doesn't belong behind the camera. Heck, he doesn't even belong in a kedai jual camera! And yet, orang macam ni will keep on getting offers to direct. Bukan setakat buta seni, ini dah tahap mati seni. I don't care if I kena hentam balik for saying this. If you want to defend that piece of garbage disguised as a box office hit, then do so knowing full well I will have something in hand to counter whatever you say. Because to me, that was not a good movie. That ridiculous nonsense does not even deserve to be called a movie. In fact, Ombak Schizoid is an example of what movies should NOT look like. It does serve one purpose though, it can put me to sleep better than counting sheep ever did.

I feel sad. It is so painful to see our Malaysian audience willingly coming together to “donate” 11 million ringgit to something that doesn't even deserve 2 cents. Memang wayang itu satu hiburan. Memang kita pergi tengok wayang untuk berhibur. But do we have to sacrifice quality atas nama ingin berhibur? Kalau macam tu, filem lucah juga merupakan satu hiburan, kenapa tak jadikan filem lucah sebagai mainstream? Hiburan jugak kan? Kenapa harus korbankan kualiti?

Senang nak buat untung dalam industri seni di Malaysia. Just take a best-selling novel. Letak Aaron Aziz. Cari lokasi cantik. Siap satu movie. Tak perlu titik beratkan skrip. Tak perlu beri perhatian kepada details. Pacak saja camera, jerit action cut, letak lagu mendayu, siap. 11 juta ringgit menanti sebagai habuan.

I don't even understand what the fuss about Aaron Aziz is. Yes he is cute. But that's about it. He is the most “kayu” actor I have ever seen. Rasanya, hubungan antara Aaron Aziz and the average Malaysian audience can be likened to a new love affair. Kalau kita baru nak bercinta, boyfriend/girlfriend kita pakai minyak wangi bau petroleum pun kita rasa sedap. Nafas bau petai pun kita rasa macam bau Chanel. Maybe that's what it is with Aaron Aziz. Aaron is incapable of doing romantic scenes simply because he looks so stoned doing it. I don't see any emotions splashed across his face. And his character in this movie would make a good case study for Schizophrenia. Inilah jadinya bila director tak buat character establishment. Sekejap Aaron tu marah, sekejap dia muka kayu, sekejap dia romantik, sekejap dia nak try jadi macho, sekejap dia ikut telunjuk orang. If somewhere in the movie, he got diagnosed with Schizophrenia then I concur. At least ada explanation. But alas, it was just left unsaid. Which means, his character was poorly established. Coupled with the fact that he can't actually act to save his life. Good thing Aaron Aziz is good looking, because if he had to survive on pure talent, he would have sunk a long time ago. So would the movie.

Maya Karin. Gadis kampung. With a weird accent. But of course, who cares about all that right? In this country, the actors are more important than the characters. Doesn't matter if they can't carry the role. “Saya kata saya nak Maya Karin, saya nak Maya Karin lah.” Malas nak ulas panjang about her acting. I've said it before, I'll say it again, she can only play a pontianak. Tengok dia dalam cerita apa pun, I still feel like she's going to turn around and start screaming her head off like a banshee (Maybe that would've saved Ombak Schizoid. Hmm....)

Anyway, Osman Ali truly sunk to his lowest for this movie. I shall go as far as saying that he is a disgrace to the industry. The fact that he can let so many things slide. Establishing fail. Tahap epic. I couldn't even relate to anything in the movie. I can't feel for their love affair simply because it was done like a cartoon. It went from one scene to another like a very boring documentary. There were no climactic moments. The timeline was also severed by the fact that each scene looks like it took place one moment after another. When Maya Karin finally returned to her kampung after being away, I thought she was gone all of two weeks. Rupa-rupanya dah 2 tahun! Osman wasted time with pointless scenes, like what the cat's name was going to be. The time was better off spent establishing their love affair rather than Aaron's lame attempt at mocking the name Chomel which to me was utterly pointless.

Ombak Schizoid managed to achieve the impossible though. It was able to be draggy yet cartoonish all at the same time. At some point I felt like I was watching a very disturbing cartoon slash soft porn. I had to avert my eyes during the bedroom scene simply because I had no intentions of my dinner reversing itself.

What saddens me even more than Osman Ali's lack of artistic talent is that the average Malaysian audience is way too accepting. How can they not see that the whole thing was a joke? A very bad joke. Dating in Cameron Highlands. Rumah kat tengah bendang somewhere in Langkawi. Office tengah-tengah pekan somewhere, hospital kat Alor Setar. Semua character dalam cerita tu Six Million Dollar Man ka?? Jangan sebab nak dapat shot cantik, logik dibuang keluar tingkap. Kalau awak buat fantasy fiction takpalah jugak. Ini drama serious. Drama manusia biasa. Kalau buat drama untuk characters from Avatar, ok lah nak membohong lokasi.

Towards the end of the movie, when they were on a boat, I really and truly felt like I was cheated. The conflict in the movie was like a cruel joke. It was so poorly established that I felt like “Itu ja ka? Habih dah?” I honestly was hoping for a sniper to emerge from between the trees and take them down. That would have made my 2 hours worthwhile. Or if the boat were to capsize. I was hoping that the mother had hired someone to rig the boat so that it would explode. But alas, nothing of the sort happened. They just rode off together in the boat headed towards an alleged eternal bliss. I truly felt violated. Macam mana those yang puji cerita tu tinggi melangit did not feel cheated at the end?? How can they leave the cinemas, satisfied that it was money well-spent?? The whole movie just felt like a cerekarama yang terlebih elaborate. It could also double as an excellent choice for psychology students to study Schizophrenia.

Anyone nak kata I'm being overly critical, go right ahead. I lost 2 hours of my life I will never get back. I felt cheated. Therefore I have every right to be overly critical. And jangan kata saya saja tengok cerita ni dengan niat nak mencari kesalahan. The mistakes were staring me in the face! Not my fault if you were too smitten by Aaron Aziz to see the blatant faults and flaws! Kerana wujudnya manusia-manusia yang puji Ombak Schizoid, maka kerana itulah pengarah seperti Osman Ali tak perlu pay attention to details, tak perlu buat character establishment, tak payah tighten the plot, tak payah tulis script elok-elok. Selagi itu lah, pengarah seperti Osman Ali boleh terus hanyut dengan janji pulangan 11 juta hanya dengan hasil karya yang macam cerekarama.

Teruskanlah menyokong pengarah-pengarah seperti ini. But do so knowing that you are contributing to the death of the film industry. Shame on the director who hid behind Aaron Aziz's popularity and lokasi cantik tapi hasil keseluruhan movie tak lebih dari sekadar cerekarama yang lemau. Teruskanlah membunuh industri filem negara yang telah dibina dengan susah payah oleh insan-insan hebat seperti Allahyarham Tan Sri P.Ramlee, etc. Teruskanlah menyumbang towards the violation of art as we know it. Congratulations Osman Ali. For your contribution in putting a stake right through the heart of our film industry. Keep making more crap.

Sedih. Sebak. Ya memang nak nangis. I would cry, not for the alleged sadness of Ombak Schizoid but for the obvious death of the film industry.