My name is Mukhsin

Well actually my name is Afif but that particular line has been playing in my head over the past few weeks. No I didn't get to watch Muhksin yet but I did found this review from somebody who has actually seen it. So here's there review as Suanie sees it.

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the preview for Yasmin Ahmad’s latest offering, Mukhsin at Midvalley. It was a large hall and there were plenty of familiar faces (fellow bloggers lah). The seats allocated to bloggers were fully occupied. So I muka tembok a bit and sat in one of the seats allocated to the press. Bwahahahahaha!!! I made acquaintances with the two girls sitting beside me (who were real press peps), and found out that one of them is Pelf’s sister! Such a small world… Then I spotted hot chick and beckoned her to sit beside me.

Mukhsin and Orked sitting in a tree… not (yet)

is the story of first love, of second chances, of friendship and of relationships. Sounds very Yasmin Ahmad, eh? The protagonists are a 10-year old Orked (Sharifah Aryana) and a 12-year old Mukhsin (Mohd Syafie Naswip) from a nearby village who quickly become fast friends. Misunderstandings caused from jealousy soon ensue and threatens to jeopardise their friendship. Will their relationship last like the evergreen sawah sceneries, or will it falter like Alan Yun’s kayu acting? That, you will have to watch the movie to find out.

Orked and Mak Inom dancing in the rain

So far it has been like Star Wars — the director made the final three movies and decades later, made the first three movies in the series. Thank goodness we didn’t have to wait that long, so let’s recap a bit here.

1. Mukhsin — a young Orked meets a boy named Mukhsin and they fell for each other in a way that only children can
2. Sepet — Orked in her late teens meets Jason, they fall in love and only Yasmin Ahmad knows if Jason died at the end of the movie
3. Gubra — Apparently Jason died, so Orked married Arif. He cheated on her so Orked sought comfort in Alan’s arms. Alan was Jason’s brother. But at the end of the movie, apparently Jason didn’t die. ARGHHH WHY YOU MAKE IT SO MYSTERIOUS AND CONFOUNDING!!!!!

Like that lah.

Orked playing groom to her neighbour (brilliant lil’ actress) playing bride

In MUKHSIN, we see a younger Mak Inom (Sharifah Aleya) and Pak Atan (Irwan Iskandar), Orked’s parents who were already breaking social norms in their kampung. The girls in the family rush out to dance in the rain when daddy and friends play traditional music (’Hujan’, an original composition by Yasmin Ahmad’s dad). Orked attends a Chinese school instead of a national school. She speaketh powderful England, and at one point exclaimed, “cretin”, a word that I myself only understood when I was 20 years old. She would rather read books and watch football matches than to play with her friends. Her family openly laugh at other villagers. That pretty much would ostracise you in many kampungs.

It also shaped Orked to be what she became in SEPET and GUBRA, so it was interesting to see.

Kesian Orked seorang…

I was quite happy that MUKHSIN was not as self-indulgent as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong — I loved SEPET and GUBRA, but I also thought that there were too many ‘wank fest’ moments. Most of the time I was grinning to myself, lost in my own childhood memories that Yasmin Ahmad so brilliantly captured, even though we don’t know each other, let alone grew up together. Some sceneries were breath-taking, such as the ones at the open green paddy fields. The main actors and actresses were brilliant in their roles; I especially love Mohd Syafie Naswip as the bright-eyed MUKHSIN. It was almost unbelievable that he had never done this before. Apparently he fell in love off-screen also lah, so maybe that helped his performance ;)

Adibah Noor as Kak Yam is always lovable and entertaining. Irwan Iskandar as Pak Atan was cute; though hard to imagine he would be Harith Iskandar later on… hahahah…

Some of the supporting actresses were awesome too, such as Orked’s next door neighbour and her pregnant mother, and Mukhsin’s auntie as pictured gossiping with Kak Yam below.

And anyone knows who is the YOUNGER JASON?!?!?! OMG SO KIUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

Kak Yam and Mukhsin’s aunt making ice-cream

Some parts I am not too happy about:

- Kak Inom’s wardrobe. For example, check out the photo above where she was dancing with Orked. To me she was wearing something quite modern, and I had thought that this would be a movie set in the 80s, if you were to keep up with the storylines of Sepet and Gubra lah. They didn’t have those kind of clothes in the 80s… not even in England where she had studied! Just something that kept coming back to my mind, not quite right lor. Sorry lah, it just bugs me like that.

- Bits and pieces where I felt the writer/director was trying too hard to prove her point. There was a scene where Kak Inom pretended to punish Orked, and when the uneasy tell-tale guests left, the whole family burst into laughter, not bothering to hide their amusement from their guests. Cute idea, but I felt the implementation was a bit too forced and corny.

- The whole thing with the actor/actress who played Orked and Jason in SEPET. Someone said it was sweet to bring back the two, but I felt that their presence was unnecessary. Again, like trying too hard, too forced like that. May have not been her intention, perhaps she just felt like it, but to me it was like the whole bit tak ngam. Story flow and attention broken. Just not right lah.

I’m sure there are others, but not significant enough for me to list down here.

There were also many parts that I liked, some of them involving subtle digs at Yasmin Ahmad’s critics. Who can forget the infamous ‘pencemar budaya’ phrase? Well now it’s immortalised in Mukhsin, so… :D

The manner of which Mukhsin falls in love with Orked — that was quite something too. Not once did Mukhsin tell Orked of his love, but his actions and the feelings he brought forth were so powerful and touching that words would just be a hindrance.

Overall, I liked what Yasmin Ahmad has done with MUKHSIN, more than Sepet and Gubra. The good storyline and script coupled with the actors/actresses’ stellar performances made the movie very sincere to the point of nakedness — where everything that could be offered has been offered and there is nothing more to give. Yasmin put so much heart in her movies that they touch the hearts of the audience, sometimes more than she could know. I’m glad that she won accolades at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival. Thousand of miles better than any reptile wannabe :P

(Hahah, I am so not getting an invite to watch Cicak-man 2 :P )

MUKHSIN was written and directed by Yasmin Ahmad, and produced by Grand Brilliance. You should watch it like, now!


This movie is so good even Einstein here is a fan!

OSTMp3 ringtones

p/s: My mp3 ringtone is currently the envy of my entire office! :)

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