Guess what? You’re going to read a movie review far earlier that those you can find on the newspaper. The movie’s Baik Punya Cilok (BPC). Directed by Afdlin Shauki, and stars Afdlin Shauki, Awie, Hans Isaac, AC Mizal, Harun Salim Bachik and a whole football team more of actors. Where did he get the money to pay them all?
The first thing that came to my mind after watching this movie was Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrel (LS2B). The similarities were uncanny. It would be safe to say that BPC is a Malaysian version of LS2B.
A very Malaysian one.
It’s a story of 4 friends (Aben, Wak, Jerry and Bob) who tried to steal back Wak’s grandmother’s brooch from pawn shop owner Tauke Wong, who cheated on Wak. The robbery became haywire after several incidents leading to several twists and turns in the movie.
The setting was not made in the heart of the city, but in a pekan (small town). Which is a very nice change from previous movies which tend to show only the city life, or a kampung (village). However, the image that the actors brought (except for the Tauke Wong’s gang) were less pekan and more of an urban style, which was quite a shame. They could have done a more local image and blend entirely to the small town. That being said, it was maybe to create the comical nature of the story.
And yes…the story IS comical, so don’t be too serious about the story.
Actually the story is a fresh breeze as compared to other Malaysian movies. It was simple, and understandable, even though there’s a lot to be told. The LS2B‘s flashback thingy did help the flow of the movie from being too long. There’s simply too much to tell. However the BPC’s rendition of the flashback is simply genius. Holds a very Malaysian taste to it while being funny and really help to explain things and to develop the characters. You have to see it. I’m keeping it a secret. No spoilers here…tsk, tsk.
There’s a plethora of characters available. Kelantanese rapper, (complete with Kelantanese English), who would’ve thought of that? They were developed enough for the viewers to relate and acknowledge. Thanks again to the flashbacks.
Hans (Jerry) could use a little more Indian flavour (an accent, maybe?) to tell that he’s Indian. Bob was a nice touch, where opposite traits (e.g: soft and hard) collide. So does Malik (potrayed convincingly by Riezman). Honest Wak and techy Aben also need no extensive introduction. Harith did a pretty good job, and so does Ida Nerina (but I personally loathe her character. If that’s what she’s supposed to do, then Ida did a good job).
Malik’s character was one of the best in BPC. You can expect the villain to be super-cool, but he’s also cold hearted and have spectacles as thick as a textbook. Tauke Wong was done nicely by Patrick Teoh, but maybe he’s better off with more chinese dialogue. It doesn’t make sense if he talks malay with his daughter*. Leman, played by Harun Salim Bachik, was done well. But the heroine, Lina, played by Carmen (is ‘Lina’ spelled this way?) needs a little brushing up. Nice move with the fight scenes though. Still don’t understand how she can beat the hell out of several guys but got thrown around by Leman. Wak’s wife (can’t recall the character’s names) was also nicely done with the convincing cries in the end of the story.
I don’t have any grudge for the storyline, which is not linear. You won’t find A, then B, then C. It weaves flashbacks, and current happenings in a simple way. I don’t think you’d be lost in this movie. Malay movies usually are linear, so the change are welcomed. There are few minor technical glitches, most of them only visible from the trained eyes, but I’m unable to ascertain if it’s an editing mistake or the projector’s skipping. For instance, there’s some scene being cut at awkward timing, and there’s a scene where the actor’s mouth moved, but there’s no voice.
As for the joke’s department, there’s a lot to be laughed at…literally. What I mean is the jokes works. A mixture of slapstick and witty one-liners here. Malaysian comedy movies, to me, really need to tone down the slapstick, as I find it intellectulally embarrassing. But some others still find it amusing, so the mixture is a very safe bet. I enjoy it, and you enjoy it. Everybody wins. Amongst notable jokes were Jerry’s dialog with his boss and Afdlin’s signature style of dubbing snide remarks from the background.
Another nice touch was the subtle things that turns out to be a vital part of the movie in the end. One has to be alert to realise any of these subtle signs. Many Malay movies just show what they want to show, thus making the ending very obvious as it reaches mid way, and the viewers lost interest. So if you’re watching BPC, please look for something in the background or shown in a glimpse. That may turn up to be very important in the end.
Afdlin had said that he envied Bernard Chauly for his ‘clean’ works in Gol & Gincu. I sure hope that Afdlin would be more careful and ‘clean’ in his next project. For the uninitiated, ‘clean’ would mean no visible glitch. He has the ideas. And the ideas should be brought forth.
So for you movie goers out there, I’d suggest this movie in your Malay movie list, along with Rock. BPC does stand out from the rest of the other mainstream movies, but for Afdlin’s line-up, Buli still tops the list. Can’t wait for Buli Balik. I’d give it 4/5.
Here’s some screenshots of BPC obtained from Tayangan Unggul.
I was told by several people including Afdlin himself that Taukeh Wong (Patrick Teoh) talk mostly in Chinese with his daughter Lina (Carmen). Maybe I was mistaken and thought Taukeh Wong was talking to Lina in spite of Malik. I’ll have to wait for my second time watching to clarify this. To those involved, please accept my apology. If there’s any other mistakes of disagreements please say so in the comments. Don’t forget to include your name/nickname.