Friday 14 December 2007
Recommended: ANAK HALAL
Saw it last night. Although not a perfect film (Why on earth would we want to watch a perfect film? Wouldn't it be as intimidating as knowing a perfect person?) I am amazed anew at Osman Ali's empathy (heart), energy and skill with actors. If nothing else, this film is significant for finally making a credible leading man of Farid Kamil (!)
If Osman's earlier, underrated film Puaka Tebing Biru reminded me of old Malay movies, Anak Halal is like gritty Bollywood. As such, some would flinch that it's all 'too much', which is fine. But the excess is wedded to a generosity of spirit, which makes it all right by me.
Osman has been creating a consistent cinematic world since his graduation short in 1999 (also called Anak Halal), a world of sensuality, underdog camaraderie, outrage, provocation, pathos. He always goes that little bit further than anyone else would dare to – just to get that little bit closer.