Monday, 7 November 2011

KL Gangster (2011)

"Lu cakap macam orang sudah mau bosan dengan hidop, tau?"
At a glance:
Malaysia's top grossin film of all time at RM 11.74 mil accordin to the FINAS jokers (that's almost US$ 4 mil) is a gangster flick that won't make much sense outside the multi-ethnic Southeast Asian nation - but to the jaded locals, this was a refreshin mainstream action movie that immediately spared us the perennial tedium of predictable and pedestrian scriptin, deservin all the box office success it achieved, especially since it doesn't even have a female lead. Probably conceived after director and scribe Shamsul Yusof chanced upon some of HK's Young And Dangerous movies from the 90s, the highest sellin point for this ### is the undeniably original and inspired dialogue - a mixaphorical street market dialect punctuated by rude and unnatural Cantonese retorts by Malay characters. This drew non-Malay audiences even, a most rare occurrence in the country.
Bad news on the doorstep:
"Lu mau gua dudok diam? Lu kasi wa mati dulu la baru wa diam."
Some glarin continuity goofs and a few poor performances blight an otherwise solid tour-de-fist of over-the-top Kuala Lumpur gangland warfare. For those unfamiliar with the territory - no, we don't get tattooed Malay hoods runnin through Chinatown with two pistols and a suitcase in midday. Velvet blazers for that quintessential nouveau rich look are a tropical no-no as well.
Perennial wonderment:
Adiputra's muscular turn as the enigmatic gangster Jai (with unlit cigarette, below) takes the top prize for best actin but I'm quite concerned as to how the man is doin right now. In an appearance at a Malaysian shoppin mall not too long ago with co-stars Aaron Aziz and Adam Corrie to promote the flick, he lost a lot of weight and looked rather jaundiced. Sure hope he'll be in more movies. 
Reminds me of:
I can't remember if I cried:
"Lawan gua bukan dua orang
tapi dua lori."
When Zizan Raja Lawak, the movie's singular point of comic relief, says: "Gua mau beli banglo besar kat depan tu, tapi takde budget pasal gua dah beli TV plasma ni dengan tali pinggang ni." (literally "I want to buy that big house over there but I'm quiet broke because I already bought this plasma TV and this belt."). There are plenty of memorable one-liners in this movie and the people at Skop Productions can be credited for an interestin marketin approach on Facebook which had them settin up multiple fan pages just for these lines.
Watch out for:
Anythin Zizan Raja Lawak says or does is absolutely original and hilarious. He won't top this performance for a very long time.

Most memorable line:
Too many to pick from.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
This movie gets my four stars and I paid cash money to watch it at a cinema twice to make sure Yusof Haslam's pockets are properly lined to shoot KL Gangster 2.★★★★
Trailer for the curious:

 Bonus material:
1996 Hong Kong material gets a 2011 Malay reupdate to the tune of RM 11.74 million. Why bother changin a winnin formula, eh?