Monday, February 19, 2007

Tentang Bulan (About the Moon)

It is Malay film. While most recent local films focus on typical love story – boy-meets-girl kind – this film is some what different. Yes there is element of love, but it is in a different setting. I would say the main theme is friendship, and the ‘growing pain’ that comes with it.

The story revolves around a bunch of friends. The film starts with a beautiful lady in a taxi on her way to a wedding reception. She took out a picture of four boys. We then were brought back to the past.

We were introduced to the boys: Abu a.k.a. Bulat (‘Fatty’) , Asmawi a.k.a. Mawi, Budi, and Ibrahim a.k.a. Ketot (‘Shorty’). Mawi is the clever one. Budi is the asthmatic one. They were about to pose for another ‘rock’ photo, when a girl came riding a bicycle, Shahila a.k.a Ila. The boys didn’t want to take photo with her because they claimed that with a girl, the photo can’t look mean enough for a ‘rock’ photo.

The five of them were the best of friends. Ila was the first went to rescue Budi and Ketot when they were bullied by two older and bigger kids. The boys were truly concerned when Ila bleed after the fight. They sent her home and were sad to see Ila being spanked by her mother. They went to visit Ila that night after she failed to turn up at their nightly religious class. It was during this visit that the five friends made a pack to remain friends forever. The moon was the witness.

Then a girl, Zurina, was introduced to the circle of friends. The dynamics of the friendship changed. Suddenly the ‘girly’ girl became the centre of attention. The boys were ‘in love’ with Zurina (Bulat even had a ‘wet dream’ thinking of her). The result? The boys spent less and lesser time with Ila. Ila realising what had happened, try to emulate Zurina. Unfortunately she was laughed by the boys.

One day after school, Ila cycled to the boys. The boys cycled all their might to run away from her. When she fell off the bicycle, no one stop to help her. Mawi hesitated for a while, but continue cycling to meet Zurina. Ila was actually trying to tell the boys that she would be leaving for KL. By the time Mawi got the news, it was already too late to say goodbye.

While the story unfolds, the audiences would remember the lady in the taxi. At the beginning, we would think the lady is Ila. As the plot progresses, we would think the lady is Zurina. She was the ‘girly’ girl who has the potential to grow into the beautiful lady. And we saw Mawi gave her the photo while on a ‘date’ at the wooden bridge.

We only know who the lady is when the bride called the attention of the four guys (including the groom). She said ‘Ila’ and pointed to the newly arrived lady. Years ago, Ila stopped by Zurina's house to say goodbye. It was at that time Zurina gave the photo Ila. After all these years they re-united for (slimmer and more good looking) Bulat and Zurina wedding.

It is a beautifully crafted story. It managed to embedded a lot of good values into its storyline. The value of friendship. The value of love. The value of compassion. The value of education. And a lot more. You should watch it to value it (no pun intended).

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