It’s kind of funny watching Cuci and knowing for a fact that it’s not directed by Afdlin Shauki, because it look and feels like Afdlin’s! I guess that Hans has been influenced heavily by Afdlin’s directing skills, and in some part, better.
In a nutshell, Cuci is about 4 best of friends opening their own cleaning company Cuci-Cuci Sdn Bhd., doing small scale cleaning jobs. However, Fairil (Afdlin Shauki) has high aim, to expand their their company, to greater heights (This will be a pun in the next paragraph).
Thus, when he heard about the Window Washing Olympics (don’t ask), he quickly jumped on the opporturnity, eying the chance to win the contract to clean KLCC.
You’ll find a lot to think about after watching the movie, moral-wise. Almost every scene reflects the good, the bad and the ugly of us Malaysians, whether we want to admit it or not. Our tendency to look up to foreigners and their products, and looking down to our own, is the main theme of the movie, aside of aiming high and the quest for it.
Another moral point worth noting is the sincerity of work. Most of us, don’t have the sincerity and love of work, that we became a zombie, slaving ourselves without any passion for work.
Being a comedy, laughs are aplenty, but I do think that more can be done. Recently, I was watching Stephen Chow‘s old movies, and noticed, that Afdlin‘s movies have similar effects, although it’s less crass. Now, this Han‘s first movie is joining the club. Not all can digest it, but for those who do, will love the unexpected jokes.
Let’s get a bit technical. The variety of the characters in this movie is quite , err… well, varied, but we have seen them in the same shoes before. Most notably, the 4 ‘brothers’, which incidentally, are the same cast in Baik Punya Cilok (BPC), in similar role. Hans as Khai did try something a little different, by being a little naïve, but it’s not that convincing. Afdlin tried to be less comedic, but his character seems similar to his Nordin in Buli Balik, serious, forward thinking, but to me, a little bit commanding. Awie and AC‘s character (Jojo and C’Tan respectively), is similar to theirs in BPC, except that awie did not show any brutish quality.
In the first paragraph, I mentioned about the similarity between Cuci, with Afdlin Shauki‘s movies, and here’s why. For one, it has the same look and feel as Afdlin‘s movies, down to the colour scheme, camerawork, and even editing. I would think that most of the behind-the-scenes crews are the same ones that’s behind Afdlin‘s other movies, especially for Buli Balik and BPC.
Speaking of camerawork, I loved the scene where CJ (Erra Fazira) and her dad (Dato Rahim Razali) talking in Aquaria. There’s good timing, a fresh technique in Malaysian films, and the fact that I just dig long shots.
As for the dubbing, I’m guessing that there’s huge Afdlin‘s influence here, since his trademark dubbing technique can be seen (or heard), so much that most of the dialogue driven-comedy was in this form. If you’re thinking ‘what the hell is Lizzam babbling about’, I’m talking about the off-screen dubbing, where the character (or at least the mouth) is off screen (but the character is still in the scene), and so extra lines are added during the dubbing process.
I guess you’re right. I am babbling. Pardon my babble.
One thing I notice, is that there’s almost no dubbing slip noticable (at least to me), thus the dubbing team deserves a praise in this department. However, I would love to see more live recorded dialogues, like those in Yasmin Ahmad‘s productions.
Hans did a good job in finding a niche subject, and turn it into a full length movies, full of moral points, and laughter. It’s like Japanese productions, especially their anime and mangas, where everything, however small it is, can be a big thing for those who love it. From high profile sports like basketball and football, to niche ones like fire-fighting and sushi making. It’s good to see that Hans chose to follow Afdlin‘s directing, but we’ll be expecting a more distinctive ‘Han’s directing‘ soon.
3.5 windows out of 5 windows..