Thursday, August 14, 2008

City Folk Black Magic Show

If this were Hollywood, Susuk would be looked upon with great suspicion. Over there, if a project gets stuck in limbo for two years, it would be deemed a failed endeavour and relegated to a limited theatrical release (probably in some seedy cinemas with tissue-strewn, sticky floors, in shady parts of towns) or straight-to-video hell.

But this is a different part of the world, and Susuk, despite a two-year delay, has collected RM1.2 million in its first week of release. In Hollywood, this would be nothing short of a miracle. The TV series has finished its run on TV3, and is being re-run in the late-night slot (at least I think it's a re-run), and the books of the movie (in Bahasa Malaysia and English) have sold well. What was initially a movie that inspired a TV series has sort of been spun around like the Mach 5 in a wacky race. The interest in the movie has obviously been nurtured by the successful TV series. What an interesting turn of events!

The last few days have seen some of the wackiest reviews and responses appearing on the Net. One blogger basically told Amir Muhammad to learn how to make a horror movie from Pierre Andre! Ya, I agree, 9 September was a real horror of a movie!

Well, I guess she must mean that movie, because Jangan Pandang Belakang wasn't directed by Pierre.

A major Malay newspaper headlined its review as "Can't understand the story." But really, the story isn't that hard to follow, unless you were in a coma. But here's another strange turn of events like the abovementioned.

The big twist, or temporal trick in Susuk is the exact same one that was used in a recent Hollywood movie. To find out which movie it is, highlight the paragraph below. Warning: IT'S A MAJOR SPOILER.

It was Rendition. The past and the present happen concurrently, and are kind of joined together at the end. But Rendition's temporal trick has a big reason for being - it shockingly and emotively reminds us that a tragedy like the one in the film has human faces behind it, which we don't see when we watch the news. I'm hard-pressed to find a good reason for Susuk employing the same trick.

But Susuk was made two years earlier, and that Hollywood movie only came out last year. Which, in hindsight, makes Amir and his co-director Naeim Ghalili, pioneers. Well, well.

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