Monday, August 22, 2005

Gol & Gincu

I've seen the film. I brought along Calvin who up till that day had never seen a Malay film before (the blasphemous fellow also hasn’t seen Sepet, an oversight I shall address tomorrow). I must say that we were both presently surprised that the film was indeed of a certain quality, was enjoyable, funny and overall very entertaining.

However, take a step back and think about the film. It's about a girl's girl who gets into Futsol in the hopes of winning back her arse of an ex-boyfriend and at the end of the film rightfully figures out he is not worth it. In short, it's your stereotypical chick flick.

What sets it apart is that it addresses a segment of Malaysian society. The segment of everyday, urban, middle class Malaysians that refuse to be disfranchised by racism in the political arena gels well together, snubs the anal holier-then-thou-ness of our so called leaders and chose to cast away taboos.

Of course, made anywhere else, the movie would have been a D grade waste of celluloid, with a story that has been rehashed so many times, patterned wallpaper would seem more interesting. But as it stands, being made in Malaysia and in Malaysian context, tell it as it is instead of adhering to the ridiculous view of reality of the Lembaga Penapisan Filem, makes the film stand out in a bold way.

I suppose that WAS the purpose of the film. However I think that from a story telling stand point, the film makers tried too hard, hence my biggest beef with the film.

What is with the Incest Rape? Not that I disagree that the crime is heinous and is undeserving of attention but the film makers in their efforts to bring it up seem to do the cause a great injustice.

In the film, the main character’s school going little sister unexpectedly fails to turn up for a match. As it turns out, she suffered a miscarriage after being raped by her own father (whose a Datuk in the film). She obviously ended up in hospital and her father was promptly arrested.

Now, considering the gravity of what happened, in ANY sort of seemingly functional happy family, such an event would bring life to a stand still, but not so in the film. Life went on like nothing happened, Datin even hosted a tea party and nobody seemed shocked. It was such a non-even that the rapist was even granted bail and he later tried to kidnap the daughter he raped.

Let’s remember that the movie is a chick flick. The story was established at the beginning and the conclusion is already forgone. The only reason to see it is for the story’s development, for the characters that play a role, for the little details that make it Malaysian. Writing in a heavy subplot of incest rape only makes it go against the entire momentum of the film and does injustice to both the film and the cause.

Also, since when did we grant fathers who rape their own daughters bail?


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