Movie Details

WAYANG

Master puppeteer Awang Lah becomes an uneasy teacher to Melor and the blind orphan Awi. All grown up, Awi's innovative ways of telling the tales of Ramayana are well received by his audience but not by Awang who believes that the traditional wayang kulit performance is sacred. Love begins to bloom between the Awi and Melor but Jusoh, who has an eye for Melor, attempt to break them apart. Circumstances cause Awang to collapse during a wayang kulit performance. Will Awi and Melor be able to carry on the traditions of wayang kulit and find happiness at the same time?

Language: Malay
Subtitle: Na
Classification: U
General Release Date: 13 Nov 2008
Genre: Drama / Art
Running Time: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
Distributor: METROWEALTH
Cast: Eman Manan, Zul Huzaimy, Mas Muharni
Director: Hatta Azad Khan
Format: NA



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Review
Writer: Wahiduzzaman

Writer Ratings:
Overall: 4.0 Out of 5
Cast: 4.0 Out of 5
Plot: 4.0 Out of 5
Effects: 0.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.5 Out of 5

Watch this if you liked: “Jogho”, “Kaki Bakar”, “Perempuan Melayu Terakhir”

'Wayang' is derived from a word meaning 'shadow' or 'ghost'. These intricately cut and perforated shadow puppets are made from buffalo hide. 'Kulit' means 'leather' or 'skin'. 'Wayang Kulit' has a documented history of existence of at least 800 years in the Indonesian archipelago. The shadow puppet play in Kelantan is performed primarily as a form of entertainment in the towns and villages, and for many people it is an evening's diversion from the routine of daily life. And it has been chosen as the core subject of the movie.

After 18 years off the radar (since his debut piece, the 1990 comedy "Mat Som"), well-known comedy director cum writer Hatta Azad Khan returns with a masterpiece - "Wayang". A complete diversion from the comedy we know him for, Hatta's back with an art film that centres on a master puppeteer named Awang Lah (played by Eman Manan).

The presentation of "Wayang" helmed by Hatta and the team is one that is undeniably fascinating! Despite the fact that all the dialogue in the movie was in Kelantanese dialect, the subtitles helped the audience to follow the flow of the story. Village scenery and wayang kulit are well exploited by Hatta to suit the theme of the movie. It goes beyond the clichés in most local films, offering the audience good content that values Malay heritage and relationships. The film is loaded with strong messages and a good emotional angle that touches your heart. His poignant yet cynical script tickles your funny bone once in awhile, reminiscent of his "Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu" days.

Perhaps "Wayang" lacks commercial value and invites a little boredom once in a while but with the strong support from its players - Eman Manan, Ida Nerina, Wan Hanafi and newcomer Mas Muharni in the line-up, Hatta proves that a good script and effective acting are all that matters to make a good movie. Eman, the two-time Best Actor has showed what a good actor he is. The man manages to deliver a convincing portrayal of a master puppeteer. Ida Nerina needs no introduction to her acting calibre. Wan Hanafi succeeds in inviting our disgust as he plays the meanie role of Awang Lah's cousin, Jusoh. Newcomers Asrah Akis and Asrah Afif drew my attention. The little twins have displayed such an amusing role. Another freshie, Mas Muharni despite her mediocre play as a girl with a nasal speech, deserves applause for her debut effort. Zul Huzaimy has done a great job playing Awi, a blind boy gifted with a voice to sing. His witty and spontaneous performances are absolute scene-stealers in "Wayang". Perhaps that's why he bagged Best Supporting Male Actor at the recent Malaysian Film Festival in Putrajaya.

Overall, the director has done a good job to ensure the acting runs parallel to the plot. If you're looking for a different dish with a mixture of the arts, then "Wayang" will whet your movie appetite. It's something commendable for the local art scene!

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
   



 
 
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