千と千尋の神隠し- Film Review

I have always been an avid fan on Hayao Miyazaki’s movies and I will try very hard not to be biased with my opinion on his 2001’s Spirited Away. I first watched it when I was in my schooling days and have been watching it repetitively once in a year or two. Although my most favourite Ghibil movie would be Howl’s Moving Castle, mainly for its romantic story line and incredible soundtrack.

However, since the film review is on Spirited Away, let’s not get spirited away (Lelz). A brief synopsis of the movie is about a young girl named Chihiro who is one her way to her new home in a new city with her parents but they lost their way and ended up in an abandoned place that looks like a theme park. As they were walking, both Chihiro’s parents smelled delicious food being cooked nearby and they took a seat and started eating whereas Chihiro kept bugging her parents to leave the place be but they didn’t listen to her. As the night approaching, Chihiro found herself being surrounded by what seems to be ‘spirits’ and when she came back to the place where her parents were eating, she found out that her parents has turned into pigs. Frightened, Chihiro tried to escape the place but the river that was not there when she first came, has filled up the land and she was trapped. Luckily, a rather human-like figure named Haku came to help her and she was forced to work at the bath house that was in the area where all sorts of spirits come to cleanse themselves until she managed to save not only herself and her parents, but her rescuer, Haku.

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Chihiro’s parents after eating the foods prepared for the spirits
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River in the day
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River reemerged at night

Like all of Miyazaki’s movies, the main character is usually depicted by a girl or a woman and in Spirited Away, it was portrayed by Chihiro. It was not mentioned in the movie on how old Chihiro was but it was certain that she is in her primary school years, so, I’d say she is probably 9-11 years old. If I were to put myself in her place, where my parents were turned into pigs and I am compelled to work in a world that is not mine, I would probably be super stressed, depressed, alone and might just give up in living but Chihiro was surrounded by people that she eventually trusts and that includes Haku, Lin and Kamaji. She was not accepted because she was a human and the rest are supernatural beings but because of her determination in wanting to save her parents, Chihiro did what she had to do in order to survive.

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Saved by Haku
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Kamaji acknowledge Chihiro as her granddaughter in order to keep her identity (as a human) hidden

Upon rewatching the movie as well as reading facts about it, there are some theories made up by viewers about the movie. For a children’s movie, I find it a tad bit inappropriate when the ‘bosom’ is being showed but then again, it makes sense if we see it in this way where the bathhouse is doubled as a brothel. At the front door of the bathhouse is a Japanese hiragana ゆ that is translated to ‘hot water’ and the woman who works there are called yuuna and the one who is in charge of the bathhouse is called Yubaba. Yubaba is the name given to the old witch who runs the place. Not only that, those who has come to work in the bathhouse were given a contract as well as a new name and in this case, Chihiro is now known as Sen. And what makes me think that the place is actually a brothel is when the character, ‘No Face’ keeps on offering Chihiro or Sen bath tags and then, gold. From what I read on the internet as well as my knowledge on Japanese culture, No Face is probably offering Sen all kinds of things to be the first to ‘have’ her. This is not my first encounter on Japanese movie about all these, back in the days where maiko and geisha are widely popular, there were bidders to maikos who still has their ‘flower’ and they were paid handsomely to be deflowered by the highest bidder. Thus, it is possible that the same scenario is happening in Spirited Away.

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Yubaba
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Chihiro being given a new name by the Yubaba
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No Face offering Sen bath tags

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and gold for her companionship

But then again, this is just a theory although it has been acknowledged by the creator of the movie itself in an interview. Despite all that, Hayao Miyazaki’s movies have an immersive detailed artwork. I love, especially the decorations in Yubaba’s office as well as the outdoors. It is done in minute detailed and that’s what makes Miyazaki’s movies being internationally known other than the great storyline.

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Despite it being subtly made as a prostitution or not, Spirited Away has got to be one of the best Ghibli film I have watched and am super glad that I am writing this review for my class. 🙂

千と千尋の神隠し- Film Review

Gamelan

For our last assignment, we were assigned to make a report on Malaysian traditional art. I had a few on my mind but somehow, I thought of proposing to my group mates about Gamelan.

Gamelan Melayu consists of mainly 7 instruments:

4-1

4-4
Saron Barong
4-5
Saron Peking

4-10

4-7
Kenong

It wasn’t hard for me to find someone to interview or even play the Gamelan for us. I called a friend from my old school to set a date for us to come and two lovely juniors of mine, helped a lot for our report. They were so attentive and super helpful. I did not expect them to teach us on how to play the instrument (mainly because it is getting late) but they didn’t mind at all. And, I am proud that my group mates managed to play one set beautifully, despite only practising it for a short brief of time.

Travelling back to UiTM with my new university friends is something. I do miss my old university (I was there for 3 years after high school and a LOTTTT happened) but it feels nice to come back and introduced my new friends a bit of my past. I don’t think this would happened if we are not assigned for this assignment. So, thank you to all of our lecturers for this great subject. Made me feel a bit more cultured than I was. Hehe. ❤

Gamelan

Baling Talk

As far as my memory can be trusted, the last time I went to watch a theatre was probably 16 years ago (?) with my parents. So, when I heard our next field trip of the class is to watch a theatre, well, it is definitely something that I looked forward to. The theatre that we watched is called Baling Talk. It never crossed my mind that it is a historical-genre and it is a very unique kind of theatre because it is mobile (I hope I get the terms right). What I meant by mobile is, we (audience) have to walk up and down (it was played in a shop lot-kind of place) the stairs (obviously) to the first floor and then settled down at the ground floor.

But what is Baling talk? Why Baling? Does the actor throw something to each other? Well, silly if you think of that (but you’re not alone if you do). Baling Talk is about the talk that took place in Baling, Kedah. Talk between 3 notable people in the making of the Independence Day of Malaysia. These 3 people are, our first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, David Marshall, the 1st Chief Minister of Singapore and Chin Peng, Malaya’s Communist.

 

I don’t think the Baling Talk has ever came out in our school history text book. It is a talk that happened a year before the Independence Day (1956). This talk is more on negotiation between both Tunku and David Marshall with Chin Peng. The two of them would like Chin Peng to surrender before Tunku leaves for England. But, the talk failed because Chin Peng did not agree to the terms that was set by Tunku and David Marshall as he and the rest of the Communist members to be isolated from the society and be under surveillance. A bit of a trivia that was told by the actors to us is, it is in this talk when Chin Peng made his first appearance in public.

Anyhow, the play started downstairs and we were shown a video of the Baling Talk. Not the actual talk but just a snippet or more of a introduction (or propaganda) to the Baling Talk (watch below!)

After the video, we were directed to move upstairs. There were probably hundreds of papers glued to the wall (like in the picture below) and then three actors, each being the Tunku, David Marshall and Chin Peng, came in behind us (we were sitting on the floor except for a few who got to sit on a stool) and started looking so furious and looked at the papers. Then, the actors started talking and it caught us by surprise when they pulled the papers off the wall and threw it on the floor (to express their anger/frustration). And then, we moved back downstairs and there were lots of books being arranged on the floor in some pattern (only after the talk, during the discussion, we knew that the books were arranged like the map of Tanah Melayu) and the play continued. Only then, the three actors changed characters. For example, the first scene, the actor played Tunku, the next scene, he played Chin Peng. Something new to me but so far, it is interesting that the concept is like that.

The Baling Talk play is definitely one of the most unique type of play that I’ve ever encountered and it definitely gave me a new insight in the process of achieving independence for this country.

Baling Talk

FILM REVIEW: HANTU KAK LIMAH BALIK RUMAH

HKLBR

The last film review of all film reviews we have to do. Anyway, the final film review is on a film that I personally enjoy watching it. A film by Mamat Khalid (orang kampung teman wei!). Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah (Karisma had trouble saying the title of the movie when we were recording the film review. Lol) is a horror-comedy movie and it is somewhat a continuation from some of Mamat Khalid’s movies such as Man Laksa, Zombi Kg. Pisang and then another movie was made after HKLBR which is Hosin, Mon & Jin Pakai Toncit.

And again, only when I watch the movie again for the sake of having it reviewed, that I realized a few trivia in it, which is super funny and creative (not going to spoil it. If you want to know, watch the video downnnn below :3)

 

 

FILM REVIEW: HANTU KAK LIMAH BALIK RUMAH

FILM REVIEW : 15 MALAYSIA

For the film review of this week, well, it’s more of a 3 SHORT FILM Reviews 😛

I never see myself as a deep-into-art or deep-in-understanding-art-that-have-deep-intellectual-hidden-meaning-in-it  person, so, truth to be told, this week’s film review is a tad bit hard for me to fully understand what the directors of the 3 films are trying to tell to us. My best guess to me not being so good in understanding these films is because I am not fully aware of the current social/political situations because the 3 films that we watched, they talk a lot about what is happening in Malaysia as of the year 2015.

Anyhoo, a brief introduction to 15 Malaysia. What is 15 Malaysia? Malaysia divided into 15 parts? No, no. 15 Malaysia is a project created to commemorate the National Day on 2009 (that would be 7 years ago) and this project is a collection of 15 best Malaysian film directors and is starred by not only Malaysia’s famous actors/actresses and artists, but also, 2 of our countries’ politicians are in it. I did not see the film where Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai acted but I definitely saw the one where Khairy Jamaluddin is in.

But we did not watched all 15 films probably because we would not have enough time to watch all of them but our lecturers picked 3 out of 15 and those are:

  1. Duit Kecil (Watch here~)
  2. Lollipop (Click here, senpai!)
  3. Meter (KJ is in this one!)

As always, I would include the review of this film (based and judged by 2 girls who sadly, have little idea on the issues of the film 😦 )

 

FILM REVIEW : 15 MALAYSIA

FILM REVIEW : 3 ABDUL

3 abdul

I was probably the only student who got excited when Ms Raja told us what movie we are watching in class this week.

I grow up watching Doraemon, Shin Chan and P.Ramlee’s movies. I still enjoy watching them up till today. There is just something about his movies that does not make me bored watching it over and over again. Some of my favourites are Antara Dua Darjat (mainly for the song ‘Getaran Jiwa’ in it), Pendekar Bujang Lapok (Cobaaaaaannn…), Labu Labi (Haji Bakhil~) Masam-masam Manis (Chegu Shaari!) and most definitely 3 Abdul.

However, I have never watched his movies and think of the messages he was trying to convey to his audience until my lecturers told me to make a review of the movie. It is definitely interesting to watch one of your favourite movies and actually watch it for its messages, the characters, the cinematography and all of that sorts. Plus, before watching the movie, we learned about the 5 voices and it certainly gave me a new light when I watched 3 Abdul later in class that week.

After watching the movie and did a bit of research with my best buds, Mr G, I just knew that all of P.Ramlee’s movies have some criticism or mockery towards the current social and political issues back in his days.

If you’re interested to hear what me and my friend has got to say about the film, watch the video below! 🙂

FILM REVIEW : 3 ABDUL

FILM REVIEW: Perempuan, Isteri dan … (Jalang)

It was quite an excitement for me to watch a movie in class (despite having to review on the movie later) but, it is always nice to just sit in the class (especially when the lights are out) and watch as the white wall being filled up with colours and words.

perempuan-isteri-dan-1993

Anyway, the first of the four films we are going to watch in class is a 23 years old, U-Wei Hj Saari’s movie named, Perempuan, Isteri dan … (dot dot dot). It caught my attention when Ms. Raja (our lecturer) mentioned the name in class because I did not expect that the actual title of the movie has the ‘…’ in it. Only after I have watched the movie, I could guess what the dot dot dot represents but did not want to make any assumptions, so, I did what all youths these days would do, Google it. I was right in some ways. The ‘…’ represents the word ‘Jalang’. Jalang in English, a whore. If the title of the movie is in English, it makes up quite a nice title (to me); Woman, Wife and Whore. 3Ws. Ain’t it nice?  The movie, well, it must be quite a controversial movie when it first released due to quite a lot of explicit scenes (mainly to Malaysian viewers). If you are interested to know about the synopsis of the movie, read down below. (SPOILERS ALERT!)

Here’s a brief synopsis of the movie: The movie is about this lady named, Zaleha. She ran away on her wedding day just when her future husband, Amir, is somewhere outside the house waiting to be wed to her. Amir was obviously furious by this and managed to track Zaleha down. Zaleha was found in a motel with her newly wed husband (not Amir). She eloped with the current husband to Thailand and got married there. Amir knows the husband and felt betrayed by both of them, killed the husband and sold Zaleha to a Thai-Chinese man, named Som Chai. (I could not NOT laugh when I found out Som Chai was played by M. Rajoli, who in his later years of acting, plays a lot of Ustaz character.However, Amir told Som Chai that he wants Zaleha back in 6 months time (God knows what reason for). After the 6th month, Zaleha and Amir reunited but Amir’s hatred towards her did not subside. They were caught by the JAIS for spending a night together at another motel. Amir decided to take her as a wife rather than had to pay a fine. He then brought Zaleha back to his village. Zaleha, has turned to be a very flirtatious woman (probably due to her previous career). She went out with a guy she met in a restaurant and were very closed to him when they were ‘watching’ a movie in the cinema, paid the guy (Majid, a foreigner who sells textiles and shoes) she owes money to without actually giving him money (if you’re that naive, she promised him herself) and had numerous sexual encounters with one of the man (Tapa, Zaleha’s scandal)  in the village. Amir only found out about Tapa and did what he did best, kill. Not only he killed Tapa, he killed his wife too. So, that’s the ‘brief synopsis’ of the whole movie.

If you are interested in knowing what my friend and I think of the movie, do click on the link below but do bear in mind, it was our first time reviewing a movie. We’d like to apologize if it’s not as good as you thought it’d be. Thank you and enjoy!

FILM REVIEW: Perempuan, Isteri dan … (Jalang)