Friday, December 29, 2006

GUBRA: My Personal Review

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is yasmin ahmad's sequel to the her own hit movie sepet. this movie expands the main character's story in sepet, orked and introduced some new ones but failed to bond and connect them together. and these new branches of stories and characters, about a bilal and his (loving and playful) wife's attempt to try to reach to prostitutes working next door, is MORE interesting than the story of the main character, orked herself; which is not supposed to happen. i'm not going to spoil you the story so i'm just going to lightly touch about things that make this film what it is and discuss about stuff that concerned me the most.

my first impression when i finished watching the vcd (cetak rompak tak main la) is that this movie is trying too hard to be different, it's unnatural.
yasmin tried to paint a realistic malaysia of her own but failed miserably in a convoluted world that tries to tell the viewers subtle and sometimes symbolic messages about inter-racial and no boundaries of love, forgiveness, love that lasts forever, family love and adultry; that are hard to understand and comprehend. this movie feels like it's been done by a foreigner that doesn't really understand malaysia really well. different doesn't always equals to good.

i like artsy and philosophical movies that has hidden messages interwoven into the stories but this film has poor storytelling and a lot of the continuity of the scenes feels very loose and were done amateurishly. what a disappointment.
yasmin tried to tell an actually good story but unfortunately her directing skills is not on par and it really hurts the film. many of the dialogues and scenes are broken, forceful and doesn't make any sense. the acting in the whole is a hit-or-miss kind of a thing. sharifah amani as orkid and harith iskandar as orked's father is brilliant but ida nerina as orked's mother (she's over-acting and were trying too hard) and jason's brother (i don't know this guy's name but his acting sucks) are just horrible. i'm not being picky but these tiny negative points really bogs a potentially good filem down.

poor static camera angles, poor dialogue and lots of plot holes really disappointed me. and yes, sharifah amani DOES sounds stupid when she talks in english. they really have to improve their english pronunciations and please oh please, use good bahasa melayu next time ? i just hate rojak language.

although with all these tiny problems, this film is still worth your attention because there are several times that i felt the warmth and
cozyness of the passion of a 'at-home' family love. it's not that great, but still it's NICE.

all in all, this movie IS indeed different from other mainstream malaysian movies, but that doesn't mean that it's great. this film were trying too hard to be controversial by touching sensitive issues forcefully and it shows. of course it's not a BAD film but maybe i was just hoping for a better one from a credible director such as yasmin ahmad. i should have not put my expectations too high. i was hoping that this film could topple JOGHO's greatness, but it failed miserably. but nice try yasmin, one brave try. i can't wait for her next film !

i would rate this film 2.5/5.0 and i'm being generous. watch this film, and you might disagree with me completely. i still don't understand why the mainstream media reviews in malaysia were telling people that this movie is the best malaysian movie this year. maybe they are afraid to be called kolot (old-fashioned, out of date) if they bash something as new and different as gubra. CINTA is far better. this you have to believe me.


  1. assalamualaikum

    thank you for writing such a good review on Gubra. It is indeed something or may I say, "the only" review that is different from others.

    I am a malaysian, and I watched both Gubra, Sepet and Cinta.

    Maybe this is a matter of preference, but I think Cinta caused a larger dissapointment than Gubra to those who tried days after days queing endlessly to buy the tickets.

    Cinta is just a compilation of typical love stories ever produced in malaysia. Out of five love stories that are suppose to trigger a hidden sense of love in each audience, only two succeed.

    Not only the stories are just on surface, which later cause deep dissapointing sighs... they are also predictable.

    Comparing Jason's brother character with Pierre Andre another-savior-for-damsel-in-distress typical role... for me, Pierre's acting skills caused bigger damage to the movie.

    Not to mention the only three dialogs Rita Rudaini had... Or Eizlan Yusuf's mushy-and-obsolete tactics.

    Cinta suppose to convey the meaning of love that we normally miss to understand. It suppose to be a movie to touch somewhere deeper in our heart. To make us feel grateful for the love that we have, the love that we had and the love that will come. It is also supposed to make us fall in love again with our loved ones.

    And most of all... to show those who think that love is worthless the real value of love ~

    To compare Gubra with Cinta... Gubra is more meaningful.

    It is a story about anxiety. A part that is always be in us. The wife who is anxious about her marriage, a husband who is anxious about his lies, a mother who is anxious about her son, a girl who is anxious about her dreams...

    The fear that keep us awake late at nite, thinking about the made-believe we beautifully crafted to hide our anxiety... knowing inside that it will eventually break, but still we refuse to stop it ourselves.

    until fate comes and takes everything away...

    At least, after watching Gubra... I asked myself: "what is my anxiety?" unlike Cinta that ends with "tu je?"

  2. waalaikumussalam! thanks for the well structured text of wall! for me, GUBRA is a failed experiment, and CINTA is just one movie full with cliche but were done with proven techniques.

    after watching gubra.... i asked myself "wait a minute, what was that?". and for me, cinta ends with "meh. i'm glad i understood the plotlines and rita rudani is HOT !!".

    as you can see, i'm not a capable movie reviewer.... but i respect your opinion, and i'm sorry for replying so late. _(. .)_

  3. It's alrite.

    I think it was because of your second last sentence in the entry that made me jolt and straight away click and comment.

    Thank you for replying to a stranger's comment.

  4. mukhsin is better than gubra: you won't disagree with me on this one right?


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