Review: Puteri Gunung Ledang

Let’s put it this way: if movie making was an Olympic sport, Puteri Gunung Ledang (PGL) would not have done any better than any of our atheletes in Athens this year.
The pros:
1. The movie cost RM15 million — that showed in the finishing, editing and cinemathography which was fairly good. Didn’t look at all like most other Malay movies that look as though they were shot with home movie cameras; had that professional “polished” look we’ve come to expect from most Hollywood/Bollywood commercial productions.
2. Tiara Jacqueline put in a performance of her life.
3. A very poetic script that i appreciated (except the parts that overused the word “cinta” — See Below).
The cons:
1. The movie cost RM15 million — for that sort of money, this movie should have been WAAAAAAAAAY better. I think one of my all-time favourite Malay movies, Layar Lara, perhaps cost less than 5% of PGL. Let’s not even begin comparing the cost-benefit ratio of PGL against classic P. Ramlee movies which probably cost less than 0.5% of PGL’s budget in relative terms.
2. The movie was very, very slow — it took nearly an hour before we even got to see Gunung Ledang, and perhaps a bit more before the plot got going. Not a good thing for a movie that runs just under 2 hours.
3. The word “cinta” was in about every other sentence. Much too jiwang for me (and this is from a guy who loves movies like Sleepless in Seattle and Gone with the Wind).
4. The fight scenes reminded me of Chinese Kung Fu movies… that i saw when i was 7 years old. Outdated techniques and super-cheesy — you know you’re in for a torrid time when the combatants spin through a very fake-looking “flames of hell”.
5. The soundtrack? What soundtrack? The music was this whining sound that prolonged the agony. The only good piece of music came right at the very end, during the credits.
6. Did i mention its a sloooooooow movie. Felt like i was wading through melted cheese. Doctors could prescribe this movie to insomniacs with great success.
To be fair, perhaps its just me — i actually saw someone sitting in front of me (it was a full house) who clapped at the end as the credits rolled and at least one blogger liked it.
So please, go watch it and find out yourselves; at the very least sokonglah industri filem negara and all of that.

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