ReviewWriter: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang YangWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Ke mana kita harus pergi jika kita tidak saling menghormati... kita semua pendatang, cuma kita beraja menguatkan daulat bumi ini," Mamat Khalid was quoted in the book 'Estet: Buku Untuk Filem'. This reviewer doesn't dispute the Estet-ical values of the movie (in fact, it was done rather brilliantly), nor the director's sincerity when producing his company Naga VXS's first movie through a good many years of hardship. However "Estet" doesn't stray too far from mould of overly idealistic movies, to the point of alienating the audience and making it difficult to connect and identify with the film, undermining the movie experience as a whole.
In "Estet", Kollywood-Khalid elements get first class treatment with the touch of cinematographer Indra Che Muda. Action scenes, as well as dramatic moments are all smooth, like watching a well-executed commercial, especially the musical sequence at the beginning, where it brings out the harmony in Estet Cinta Manis. Unfortunately, the hard work from Azmar Hassan (sound), R.Lawrence (music) and Indra Che Muda (cinematography) goes to waste when the actors start conversing in complete and suffixed proper Malay! For example: "Awak kena tentukan perlawanan bola itu disudahi dengan kemenangan." Why is that so? The director explains "to serve up a mainstream movie, I have to mix in several elements so that it doesn't get too tied up with the realistic side of the story, and my ideal portrayal for the movie." This reviewer isn't convinced. "If studied carefully, kids from estates do receive formal education." This is worse! Even a champion orator wouldn't speak like that to his parents in the comfort of his own home. Perhaps some can accept the characters as they are (especially with hints of comedy), but this is one huge creative decision that put a lot of distance between the audience and the actors.
As a result, "Estet" loses its magic, even though the characters are developed well and complimented the story. The ensemble cast of Farid Kamil, Jasmine Michael, Shashi Tharan, Soffi Jikan, David Arumugam and Rosyam Nor will somehow attract moviegoers to the cinemas; but it is Mamat Khalid's name that will garner interest from the industry followers. If "Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang" won big at the previous Malaysian Film Festival, "Estet" would definitely be spot-on for more awards this time. If this happens, this reviewer hopes that there will be more effective films from him in the future, particularly when the favourite 'tempurung pecah' allegory in his blog comes full circle.Cinema Online, 13 September 2010