While searching my office email archive for some work-related emails, I came across this email entitled 'You know you are watching a Malay movie when' sent to me way back in 2003 (maybe, not so way back :D ). Since the last Malay movie I watched in the cinema (as far as I can remember) was Puteri Gunung Ledang in 2004, I am not one who can opine on whether in 2007, these points are still relevant in defining a Malay movie. Perhaps mOAm readers who enjoy Malay movies can comment. And so, ladies & gentlemen, you know you are watching a Malay movie when...
1. The hero looks too old to be a 20 year old biker (read: Rosyam Noor in KL Menjerit), the heroine looks too 'Erra Fazira' (Wait a minute. It is Erra Fazira! Celluloid invasion!) and the mother of the hero looks too underage to be the mother;
2. To resolve matters of the heart, the venue of choice is always the beach. The girl, with a pair of fake Gucci (or any other known brand) sunglasses on her head, will occupy the space under one coconut tree, while the boy will take an adjacent one. They will refer to themselves as 'I' and 'You', and the scene will climax with the girl's face streaked with tears, asking 'You beritahu I sekarang, you masih cintakan I ke tidak?' (You tell me now, do you still love me or not?), and the boy will run his hand through his hair (an expression of Malay angst, described by the phrase, 'frust menonggeng'). Oh yeah, they will then spend 10 minutes bellowing or lip-synching some sappy-romantic tunes on the top of their lungs even when passerbys are ogling curiously;
3. On the deathbed, the terminally-ill will tend to see the light, especially when surrounded by those whom he or she has wronged. There will always be time to beg forgiveness from everyone (full grammatically correct sentence, mind you) before the last breath is exhaled, usually reserved for the all-important mengucap (repentance), which is the definitive sign of insaf (repent)?!
4. At the hospital, a doctor will always be ambushed by anxious relatives, who will ask: 'Bagaimana keadaan dia sekarang, doktor?' (How is his/her condition, doctor?). The doctor will look serious and tentative (most of the time, looks too dodgy foir a doctor (huh?)), maybe sigh a bit, before finally replying, 'Keadaan dia stabil. Tetapi dia perlu banyak berehat' (His/Her condition is stable, but requires lots of rest). The doctor will also be carrying a clipboard;
5. The hero can gasp in awe looking at Sepang F1 Circuit, KLIA and The Petronas Twin Towers as he had just realised how developed Malaysia is after studying abroad for 7 years. (read: Cinta Kolestrol) Never heard of/know about the Internet, Yusry? Pathetic;
6. Rendezvous/A date is carried out at some dimly lighted coffee house or fancy restaurant and the only drink you and your partner will order is orange juice (Mark comment: Orange juice can't be the most economical classy drink!). Other drinks like sirap limau or teh tarik are not classy enough. Somehow during the conversation, you will sip your drink bit by bit but never finish it all in gusto;
7. The boss of a company sits at his desk, usually writing longhand notes. There is no laptop nor computer on his desk (Mark comment: I was watching Astana Idaman & there were desktops on the MDs or CEOs desks). There are many ring files at the cabinet behind him. To show how important he is in the company, when he leaves his office, he tells his secretary, 'Kalau orang telefon, cakap saya ada appointment dengan Tan Sri/Dato'/Tengku' (If anyone calls, inform the person that I have an appointment with Tan Sri/Dato'/Tengku aka some bigshot). Bimbo-looking secretary would smile sheepishly while playing with her chemically damaged hair;
8. Only baddies, like delinquents and drug peddlers go to nightclubs. The only good people in nightclubs are undercover policemen;
9. Brain tumours are cancers of choice, because sufferers get dizzy and tend to faint melodramatically. Cervical and breast cancer are like, you know, private. As for lung, colon and testicular cancer, they're just not as aesthetic on those CAT scans as the ghostly cerebral ones;
10. Hari Raya (normally Eid-Ul Fitr) is the best time for character transformations. The sound of the Aidilfitri (Eid-Ul Fitr) prayer call on Hari Raya morning is enough to send drug addicts, glue sniffers, drunkards, adulterers, street gang members and girls who wear too much make up into depths of remorse.
Well, that's the end of the list. Before I go, from my limited watching of Malay series on TV, I feel that Jalaludin Hassan is a rather good actor while Leez AF4 is kinda sweet & cute too. :) Again, do comment if you think any points in the list is irrelevant in this day & age, or if you've got more points to add. Sehingga bertemu kembali (Till later)...
Live long & prosper.