LAGENDA BUDAK SETAN, A RE-LIVE OF ALI SETAN?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 5:55 PM
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LAGENDA BUDAK SETAN











Title: Lagenda Budak Setan
Type: Movie
Genre: Malay Romantic Comedy or Romantic Drama (depends)
Year: 2010
Length: 1 hour 40++ minutes
Writer: Ahadiat Akashah
Producers: Sharad Sharan, Renu Sharan & Jailani Abd Ghani
Directors: Sharad Sharan, Renu Sharan & Tengku Dato' Anuar Mussaddad
In association with: Nusantara Films & Tarantella Pictures
Main Casts: Farid Kamil, Lisa Surihani, Que Haidar, Nur Fazura & Raja Farah

Y first impression of the movie was, "sweet" but once I start comparing to Ali Setan back in the 80's, a flood of critical comments came to mind. The question is, "Is this a re-live of Ali Setan?" This type of movie can never escape the comparison to or being benchmarked to previous efforts on romantic comedy. Unless viewers choose to ignore the comedy part and concentrate on the melancholy of it all. Actually, that is the problem. What is this movie trying to represent? Romantic comedy or not? The introduction of the romeo Kashah in the college scene, being the nasty boy, similar to that of Ali in Ali Setan, did not quite complete the feel.

The movie started off suggesting to viewers that you will see a lot of nasty habits by the Kashah guy simultaneously giving rise to viewers' expectation of a re-live of Ali Setan. But to my disappointment, I did not get that Ali Setan feel. Perhaps it was meant not to mirror Ali Setan but to only tease viewers of it. If it was meant to mimick Ali Setan, I think, they should have extended the movie to explore more on Kashah's nasty character(s), especially towards women. Nevertheless, Farid Kamil managed to pull off that chicky look despite his lack of experience to look natural in front of the camera (a lot of stiff postures and movements).

..... Lisa, very gentle in her movement, speech, smile and feel. Gone are the days of Azian Irdawaty crying with tears or dramatic emotions of Ogy Ahmad Daud.

Ayu, the sweet child Juliet of the movie, was nicely acted by Lisa Surihani but of course, no where close to Ogy Ahmad Daud in Ali Setan. The good difference between Lisa and Ogy is that, Ogy had too much of a Tom Boyish appeal whereas Lisa, very gentle in her movement, speech, smile and feel. I suppose this is what killed the "comedy" part of the movie and perhaps, ought to be labeled as Romantic Drama instead. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The character Ayu carries heavy load of melancholy with a pinch of happiness sporadically. Lisa managed to carry that character via her facial expression especially the eyes and lips bit. That subtlety yet adequate expression is all that is required to touch the hearts of the viewers. Gone are the days of Azian Irdawaty crying with tears or dramatic emotions of Ogy Ahmad Daud. Well done! (but Lisa has a lot to learn. Somehow she lacks maturity in acting, but a damn good start I would say).

Que Haidar is probably the best actor in this movie. His fierce face and chronic retarded character expression is probably what you'd imagine when you read the original book written by Ahadiat Akashah. Simply superb. He potrayed maturity and flexibility of an actor to diverse it's ability. Reminded me a lot of Nasir Bilal Khan in 'Perempuan, Isteri dan Jalang' where his theatre experiences were transformed into film acting. That psychotic and disturbed feeling that you get from Que Haidar shows that his acting is effective.

The rest of the casts, Fazura and Raja Farah, did what had to be done to complement the 3 main actors. The actress that replaced Lisa lack the continuation of Ayu's character. This is probably a difficult one. How do you get the same feel of a character from a different actress? I wouldn't want to spoil your viewing if you haven't watched this movie by saying why I have such expectation. Nevertheless, when you watch the movie, you will understand why I expect the replacement actress to give the viewers the same feel as Lisa Surihani.

I started off my review by comparing to Ali Setan and indirectly concluded that it should not have been so. It is a sad movie. A sad movie that exaggerated bad luck in a sweet lady's life, almost like how Nur Kasih is. In my opinion, this is also a problem. Just now we killed off the character "comedy" in the movie. And now, we are about to kill the character "romantic". Why do I say that? Well, it is a sad sad movie. How can I possibly label it as a Romantic movie? The love scenes and build up of the chemistry between Kashah and Ayu is so lacking that the movie did not even complete its intension to tell a love story. Instead, it tells a sad story. A tragedy, just like Puteri Gunung Ledang.

Why would you name the movie Lagenda Budak Setan when you lack the expression on the term 'Budak Setan' itself?

Now I am compelled to benchmark against Ali Setan again. If you remember, Ali Setan was truly a love story. The happy moments acted by Ogy Ahmad Daud and Azmil Mustafa made it an epitome love story telling. Then of course, you may have the sad moments afterwards. No doubt one can argue that Ali Setan had a happy ending unlike Lagenda Budak Setan, I still feel that had Lagenda Budak Setan extended its happy plots on the love between Kashah and Ayu, it would have given a full meaning to this movie, if it was to be regarded as a 'Love Story'. In addition, as mentioned in my first paragraph, a more extensive plot on the nasty character of Kashah would have also given the appropriate feel to the title of the movie. Why would you name the movie Lagenda Budak Setan when you lack the expression on the term 'Budak Setan' itself?

Overall, for the general mass Malay viewers, I expect them to give two thumbs up, simply because it is a sad movie and the much celebrated Farid Kamil and Lisa Surihani, both whom I think, show potential to go far in the local film industry. Well done!

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