Thursday, June 12, 2008

CINTA vs. SEPI - Khabir Say's Dont Compare!

Apart from the fact that i am crazy over CINTA AGUNG kind of movies, this one was a MUST WATCH the minute i viewed the trailer. I was entranced by the angelic vocalizing of Gita Gutawa and the beautifully edited trailer. I waited this day for so long it finally came, the Press Preview for film SEPI. As the event was going along, deep down inside me i was like get over with all this and start rolling the film. But i maintained my poise and waited like a true gentleman. The lights finally dimmed and the reel started rolling.

Three individuals in the city learn the meaning of love, loss and loneliness in this romantic drama. Adam, a successful young chef, expends his energy in creating confectionery masterpieces for weddings, yet has still to find his own bride. Then there is Sufi, who each day runs for miles in an attempt to outrun the memories of his dead wife. Finally, there is Imaan, a young playwright who discovers that theatre is a stage of where her past is finally resolved and her future is unveiled. All three strangers are inevitably linked to a single dramatic moment that transforms their lives forever.

I always remind myself when i get over excited over something not to expect much because i would be disappointed in the end if its not up to my expectation. In this case i was a bit disappointed as my expectation for this film was HUGE!! First its Khabir's work. Im a huge fan of Khabir since CINTA. I watched it 3 times in the cinema. Second Mira is writing it (his wife). If she managed to create magic in CINTA then i was expecting the same this time around. But apparently it fell short.

The film was technically PERFECT!!! It made Malaysia so BEAUTIFUL from every angles. His composition was so spot on that it complemented on the mood of that scene. I salute his D.O.P for delivering such a remarkable work. Madnor Kassim works best under the direction of Khabir since this is his second project together with him since CINTA. Most of the scenes were brilliantly well lit up that it was just unbelievable. I absolutely loved the scene with Afdlin and Vanidah in the kitchen having this food fight between them and they had this glowing light which just made it look so magical yet very romantic. The locations shot in the film was carefully chosen and turned out very fruitful for what the director had visualize. The film had a great score. A very STRONG score. They hit it out the park with this one as they did with CINTA. With composers such as PACAI who is returning for the second time after CINTA, Melly Goeslow and Erin Gutawa on board where could you go wrong???? So basically they had all the technical part covered to me. Technically i have no problems with Khabir's work. The story was what bothered me.

Obviously Mira is influenced so so so much with HOLLYWOOD ROMANTIC FILMS. CINTA was based on LOVE ACTUALLY!!! ADMIT IT the idea of CINTA was derived from that but she manage to make it her own, it had a MALAYSIAN TOUCH to it. This time around SEPI to me was also based on HOLLYWOOD films such as WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA, VEER ZHARA (Bollywood film) and another famous romantic film which i can't mention as it will SPOIL the whole film. She tried very hard to make it her own but it seemed as if she ran out of ideas to make it as original as possible. She was trying to tell 3 stories but only manage to finish 2! One of the stories felt so out of place that it didn't developed properly and was very disappointing. I didn't feel any sort of connection with the characters and the heartache that they were going through. I was left VERY DRY!

With a great line up of cast only a few stood out and delivered. Afdlin was being his ordinary self and entertained the audience with his comedic lines and true emotions which we rarely see. Vanidah on the other hand was in her element and didn't sparkle as much unlike the performance she gave in The Red Kebaya. I think she wasn't challenged enough for the role. Nasha Aziz stole the show definitely hands down. She was out of her element. She was so goofy but yet believable. She pushed herself and experimented with this role and was very refreshing to see this side of her. Tony Eusoff and Eja didnt seem to have any chemistry at all. They were very average. As for Pierre Andre he played his usual charming self and had no trouble pulling it off, very cliche. Baizura Kahar at her first attempt in a leading role delivered. She wasn't disappointing at all. I felt a sense of connection to her character and what she was going through. Her emotions came across well and managed to touch my heart. Hussein of Ruffedge made a great comeback to the silver screen after TIPAH TERTIPU. I was surprised with his acting. I never thought he had it in him. He needs to be explored more.

Overall you just cant help but COMPARE SEPI and CINTA! As much as the production team reminds us not to compare the two we just simply can't help it. IT'S MADE WITH THE SAME FORMULA!!! But stil its a film worth to watch. Its worth every RINGGIT! Dont take my word for it. See it for yourself when it hits the theatres this 26 June 2008!

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