I hardly watch Malay movies nowadays simply because of the arthritic nature of the dialogues – painfully and unrealistically book-styled etc. The last Malay movie I watched was “Leftenan Adnan” based on the life and death of Lieutenant Adnan bin Saidi of the Malay Regiment who perished after a gallant last stand against the invading Imperial Japanese Army at Opium Hill/Kent Ridge in Singapore. Even then, the stiff dialogues were there.
“Tanda Putera”, directed by Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba, is based on the story of the late Tun Razak, Malaysia’s Second Prime Minister, the 13th May tragedy, his friendship with his deputy, the late Tun Dr Ismail, and his secret fight against Leukemia. Although I was not invited to the sneak preview of the movie, I was told by fellow blogger Big Dog that it is a movie not to be missed. He showed me the trailer, and I thought it to be somewhat impressive. I am pretty sure that it would still contain those arthritic dialogues, but given the sensitive nature of the topic the movie revolves around, I am very sure Shuhaimi Baba would have done extensive research to ensure accuracy of the historical aspect of the movie, much like “Leftenan Adnan.”
For those who believe in what actually happened during the 13th May tragedy, I am sure they would find the movie educational. However, there will be those who will call it a racist movie, inciting hatred and what have you to justify that the movie should not be watched. I have seen the reaction by those who oppose to this movie without first taking a look at the movie itself. Most of those who oppose are those who knew only Tun Dr Mahathir as being the first Prime Minister in their life, and that the PLUS highway has been there since the Cretaceous Period. While I agree that we should move on from dwelling on the 13th May issue, we should not forget history; what more with attempts to skew the details of history like those done by the likes of Mat Sabu, Kua Kia Soong et al. There is a lesson to be learnt from the dangers of the 13th May tragedy that is very clear and present today – politics of hatred. The film does not blame any political party, but instead pointed out the contributions by anarchists, subversive elements, agitators, whom had infiltrated political parties, organisations, unions in order to spread chaos and anarchy – the likes we see now penetrating NGOs in Malaysia, including the blatant hijacking of an otherwise apartisan BERSIH movement. Read more about the reaction of a certain dinosaur in Parliament when he was asked by an MP about a certain scene involving members of a certain community urinating at the flagpole of the Menteri Besar’s house here.
I find it funny that the very same people who said that Malaysians are matured enough when the likes of Kua Kia Soong and Chin Peng wrote books to present “their view of history” which maybe, in my opinion, very biased, object to the showing of this movie. Perhaps they want a movie to depict the Imperial Japanese Army as very nice people who treated the Manchurians very well during the years preceding World War 2.
I also find it funny that the Director-General of FINAS has delayed the release of the movie saying it clashes with other events like the Merdeka Day celebration and Hari Raya Puasa. I thought these two events would help sales of Malay movies as they have in past years.
I would just show it…and as people have said, we Malaysians are matured enough to handle anything.
Or are we?