Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Jumaat, Mac 27, 2009

#343. The Best Yet From Yasmin

BRING tissues. Lots of them. For this is perhaps the most powerful display of love, loss and forgiveness of all of Yasmin Ahmad’s emotionally-charged movies.One particular scene is so achingly raw that you feel you are right there with your heart torn to shreds, wondering how you can go on with your life when the person you love so much is taken away from you. The pain is real that tears start to flow.

Let’s not divulge more into that scene, executed brilliantly without the unnecessary melodrama and cheesiness usually seen in local films. Suffice it to say that the talents — mostly newcomers to the celluloid world — did a decent job in this family musical. Jaclyn Victor and Mahesh Jugal Kishor demonstrate huge potential with their untapped talents. Their performances as brother and sister Mahesh and Bhavani are effortless, natural and so likeable that you’d want to hug them.Renowned theatre actress Sukania Venugopal (you’d remember her unforgettable performance as Bayan in the first season of Puteri Gunung Ledang the Musical) plays the siblings’ mother who is a victim of tragic circumstances.

Sukania’s performance is of high standard and although it seems an act tough to follow, the bar that she has raised in this film is reflected by dazzling performances from the newcomers.

Love forms the backbone in this movie — between family members, lovers as well as teachers and their students.

Talentime goes behind the story of three families, all inter-connected through a talent competition helmed by a no-nonsense teacher Cikgu Adibah (played by Adibah Noor) at a secondary school in Ipoh.

Taking part in the musical event is the bubbly Melur (Pamela Chong), who comes from a non-conventional Malay-English parentage; introverted Mahesh (Mahesh), who hails from a traditional Indian family; and a straight-A Malay student Hafiz (Mohd Shafie) with a dying mother (Azean Irdawaty).

Each of the families has its own story that eventually intertwines to form a bigger picture in the end.

Running in tandem to this is a subplot on the school teachers with their romantic dreams, aspirations and antics.

True to the traditional Yasmin storytelling ways, there’re elements of hope, optimism, dreams, family dynamics and faith — all connected to form a solid base without coming across sounding too preachy and pretentious.

Yasmin scores without saying much, although there are times that she seems to spell things out to get her points across.

It’s better not to read too much into it, but if you do you’d soon realise how superficial they are in the grander scale of things that the film eventually brings.

Social commentary and race relations are treated with subtle tongue-in-cheek humour, biting earnestness and cynicism, all the while keeping the good faith that there is always a rainbow after the torrential rain.

Funny, heartfelt and entertaining, the movie has dialogues in Malay, English (Yorkshire accent, in some) and Tamil, but what really pierced the heart was when no word is spoken.

Executed in that signature style synonymous with great Hindi love stories, it is both poetic and powerful. It is the same reason why you wept uncontrollably during Mann and Devdas, with the achingly beautiful Hindi number O Re Piya (from the 2007 movie Aaja Nachle) playing in the background.

Source : The New Straits Times

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