14 March 2009
Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula... (a.k.a. Upin & Ipin Movie)
This film has been in the theatres for the past month. Wow!
I was asking people to recommend me a film to see and the top 2 among the titles mentioned were Watchmen and this film. Some told me to see this film "to support our local filmmakers" while some told me that this movie is really enjoyable.
I also heard that it has been doing rather well at the box office, too. And since today is the official beginning of the school holidays, I thought it would be good to bring the kids to something they might enjoy.
This CGI animated feature by Les' Copaque Productions begins with teenage buddies Badrol (voice of Amir Izwan Abdul Rahim) and Lim (voice of Kong Yee Pin) watching a news report on TV about a mysterious being (a hantu durian - durian ghost) stealing durians from an orchard in Kampung Durian Runtuh.
Badrol recognises the durian orchard owner interviewed as his grandfather. Soon, Badrol & Lim decides to take a trip to Kampung Durian Runtuh to visit Badrol's grandad. En route, the bus they were on got one of its tyres punctured. Being only 5km from their final destination, they decide to walk the rest of the way, as the repairs to the bus may take a long time.
As they were walking, they decided to hitch a ride on a lorry where they met a Pak Mail & a Mr Singh who were going the same way. They pass by a dilapidated house and they were warned by these two men not to go there because of the hantu durian.
When they reached Kampung Durian Runtuh, they met an interesting ensemble of characters in the kampung, Uncle Muthu (Mohd Shafiq), his son Rajoo (Rajan a/l Kannan), Rajoo's cow Sapy, Kak Ros (Balgis Fadhlullah Lee) and her twin brothers Upin & Ipin (Both are the voice of Nur Fathiah Diaz), Mak Uda, Sally/Salleh & Ah Tong.
During a visit to the durian orchard, Badrol, Lim, Upin, Ipin & Rajoo stumble across a funny looking footprint when looking for a durian which just fell from the tree.
Want to know what happens next? Watch it yourself, then!
I like this movie. Honestly I wasn't expecting much as this is a local production but I was blown over. The story is nice and the subplots well thought out. The jokes are actually funny - something I don't associate in a film where so many government agencies were involved in (Have you ever known our government to ever have a sense of humor?). The characters were more than the stereotype Malay/Chinese/Indian that you might expect. The CGI animation, although not quite as good, are probably just a notch below Dreamworks or Pixar's productions.
Things I liked:
1. Characters - multifaceted and believable
2. Plot - very well thought of and the flow was smooth
3. Dialogue - natural and believable
4. CGI animation -the hantus, Oopet, the chase and fight sequences - Wow!
Things I didn't quite like:
1. CGI animation - finer things like the way hair and fabric flows - stiff, unlike what you see in Pixar or Dreamworks' productions.
2. The berbudi bahasa bluesy harmonica song and dance sequence - a bit too corny for me.
My kids & I enjoyed ourselves and laughed a lot. The last time I enjoyed a local film in the cinema is probably Khabir Batia's "Cinta" a few years back.
My rating: 4 out of 5
Message: Hey, take your kids to see it before its gets yanked out of the cinemas.