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March 23, 2011

Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (2011)

Girlfriend : Wanna watch Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa??

Me : ......................... (long pause)....................... Dont want...

Girlfriend : Melayu tak sedar diri! Makan belacan! Budu!


Yes, at first I was quite reluctant to watch the movie even though it receives recognition from most movie fans out there... But hey, don't blame me for having that skepticism towards Malay movies... Blame all the Malaysian movie makers for making crappy Malay movies... 



STORY
The movie is basically about the magical adventures of Merong Mahawangsa, a proud sailor who got the chance to serve and protect a Roman prince who was on his way to politically marry a princess from China... However, before the marriage, they got attacked by a savage tribe called Garuda... The princess was kidnapped by them for ransom of gold and wealth... Therefore, it was Merong's responsibility to save the princess from the claws of Garuda and unite her with the Roman prince... 

This movie is an adaptation of an ancient Malay literature that chronicles the bloodline of Merong Mahawangsa and the foundation of the Kedah... 


PLUS POINTS

Action



I could see that some of the action scenes resemble the ones in the epic movie 300 but a bit watered down in terms of CGI effects... Looks like Yusry KRU, the producer, had been doing some homework... Bravo for the effort! Furthermore it's kinda wise of him to put more focus on the battles rather than romance... I was expecting lame scenes of the Roman prince splashing water to the Chinese princess at the waterfall and then their eyes would lock and they would fell in love... Luckily there was no such scene... Instead, I was bombarded with violent slashings and stabbings... Looking at such high amount of violence in a Malaysian movie made my mind exploded... Damnit, so much blood... Such barbaric cruelty... Awesome...


 Merong


For me, the main character, Merong Mahawangsa was quite fun to watch... He's cheeky, funny, laid back but at the same time, brave and strong... The most entertaining scene was when he and the Roman prince had a spar with their swords on the ship while blasting each other with wise words and sarcasms... Kudos to the actor, Stephen Rahman-Hughes, for the great performance... 


Garuda

According to the legends, Garuda was described as a giant bird that could spit fire out of it's mouth and not some savage pirates... I guess for the sake of making this movie to be focused on action, Yusry chose to alter the story a bit, which is a great idea... Besides, just imagine if Yusry decided that the Garuda in the movie was going to be a monstrous bird... With their current level with CGI creation, I'm sure the bird would look ridiculously horrendous...



MINUS POINTS

The Villain

The bad guys in this movie appeared funny... The lead bad guy Kamawas was supposed to be mean and fierce but every time he appeared on screen, I felt like giggling because he sucked as an actor... Making your eyes wider and funny faces wouldn't make u a better villain... 


CGI

Need to improve more on the effects...



OVERALL 

All in all, I think that the movie is not bad... I really enjoy the humor and the action... I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel for Malaysian movie industry... Let this be an eye opener for other Malaysia movie producers to stop doing slapsticks and start doing some serious stuff... 


3 out of 5 stars... 

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