ReviewWriter: Chan Sue ChingWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast:
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This is Akademi Fantasia (AF) Champion Vince's first attempt at acting, and alongside some very talented and experienced actors at that. He actually doesn't come off too bad as the lead, and if the storyline flails, it's more because of weak scripting than poor acting. Most of the laughs come in the form of ridiculous premises and a blatant attempt at promoting a certain mobile phone company.
The story is mainly about racial categories and who's who in those categories. It is set in a secondary school, the stage of life when 'labelling' is usually at its most shameless. Vince (Vince) is a form six top-scorer, an unbelievably perfect student, a favourite among the teachers and a babe magnet as well. His mother is Chinese while his father is European, which means he falls into the 'pan-Asian category'.
One of the girls interested in him, Salina (Hetty), is Malay through and through. The short of the long of it is Hetty gets maths whiz Vince to coach her, they end up spending a heap of time together, and fall in love.
What we're supposed to believe is that despite their racial differences and outright opposition from their peers and family, these two are so deeply in love that they will do everything to be together. I couldn't believe that premise.
Sure, Salina's older sister, Marina, (Ziana Zain) is a bit cut that her ex (Awie) ran off with an English chick and is thus decidedly against her younger sister dating the 'pan-Asian' boy (her love story is expounded in the original "Sembilu"). Sure, Vince's parents don't like Malay girls. Not much explanation is given for this dislike, except once when the dad says, "Orang Melayu ni kuat berteguh pada agama" ("These Malays are very faithful to their religion"). But okay, maybe he is just ignorantly arrogant. I can also swallow that Vince's self-declared girlfriend Julia (Juliana Banos) would want to wreck havoc in their relationship.
But would a whole school really erupt into frenzied gossip when two people with different skin colour start dating? Okay, I guess it didn't really help that Vince and Salina keep chasing each other around the school bushes. However, when Vince's two best friends start getting downright spiteful, the premise turns from moderately acceptable to unbelievable. The odds against the two just seemed too harsh.
And really, do we want these lovesick students to be together? These two characters keep making such ridiculous moves in their relationship that they come across as unready for a serious relationship with each other. Once, when the opposition was stacked high against them and they were forbidden to see each other, Salina suggests that they should meet. It was a brilliant suggestion, seeing that it was raining cats and dogs and it was the middle of the night. Also, she decides to walk
to the meeting place even though we know she has a scooter and a bicycle. Vince has to be credited for wise moves too, he agrees to meet her at a strategically located bench in the middle of nowhere under no shelter.
In spite of the over-the-top love story, there were some entertaining performances. Ziana Zain was perfect as the bitter jilted lover, Erra Fazira lights up the screen whenever she's on, and some of the supporting acts like the male teacher in love with Cikgu Erra lent some of the humour. But if you want a believable Malaysian love story, go watch "Sepet"! Otherwise, this is moderately entertaining. If you're a fan of the talented and beautiful actresses in the cast line-up or you're into the boy-next-door Vince, you might find this meat enough to bite. Cinema Online, 23 September 2008