DIVA | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

DIVA

Kartika (Ning Baizura) is a famous Malaysian diva who is successful in the West and is greatly adored at home. However, the one person she wishes to reach out to is her mother. She returns to Malaysia and with the help of her childhood sweetheart, Arman, she tries to win over her mother`s heart by training the students from her father`s music school to become pop stars. The students are transformed into great performers under the group, JIWA. However, things turn awry when the students revolt against her for personal reasons. Now, Kartika has a secret that will save her name and reputation... but what is it?

Language: Malay
Subtitle: NA
Classification: U
Release Date: 28 Jun 2007
Genre: Drama / Musical
Running Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Cast: AC Mizal, Awal Ashaari
Director:
Format: 2D

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Review
Writer: Edel Matilda Victor

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Watch this if you liked: Lady Boss, Anak Mami

The movie opens with a glamorous diva, Kartika (Ning Baizura), returning to Malaysia after making it big abroad. While some of her fans and friends are optimistic about the return of this famous icon after a gap of many years, others are skeptical, accusing her of returning because of rejection abroad.

Back in her village, Kartika hopes to make amends with her mother but Ibu Niken (Fauziah Nawi) is unrelenting and cold towards her. Ibu Niken blames Kartika for the death of her husband when Kartika fled from home as a teenager. The only recourse her mum sees is her marrying Arman (Jeremy Thomas), her childhood sweetheart, as this was the wish of her late father. But Kartika is unable to do so for reasons of her own.

She then meets Arman who is truly in love with her but steps up as a friend and suggests that the best option to rekindle her mother's love would be to take charge of her late father's music school and make something good out of it. With the two remaining students of the school and two others that she picks up along the way, Kartika now has a new mission - to transform this quartet of classical music students into modern superstars.

After weeks of training, which includes exercise, dancing and vocal practice, the result is a dynamic group called JIWA. JIWA comprises of Idit (Adam), Mera (Jessica Iskandar), Eja (Balkisyh) and Jay (Awal Ashaari). Their album release becomes a huge success that churns up a positive response from the media and public. However, the whole process physically and emotionally consumes Kartika and tires her out. As success becomes a big part of their lives, the group gets carried away and signs a contract with a rival recording label - Zack's music empire. Blinded by the money, the group turns against Kartika. Eja who was always in love with Arman, is jealous and angry at Kartika for turning him down and accuses Kartika of using him to achieve success for herself. Idit, on the other hand, loses his parents on his way to watch Kartika's concert and he blames her for their death.

When Kartika learns of the desertion of JIWA, Arman, her driver Rudy (AC Mizal) and her manager Siska (Shenny Andrea) decide to set the record straight even if it means exposing Kartika's secret that is being withheld from everyone.

What is this revelation that brings a twist to the movie? The story that Diva delivers is a heartwarming tale that has a dozen values for the young and old.

Diva is a first-of-its-kind collaboration involving three different film-making cultures. The cast are from Malaysia and Indonesia while the director and technical crew are from India. Director Sharad Saran, who has won numerous awards for his TV drama serials in Indonesia (such as Janjiku, Bidadari, and Istri Pilihan) makes his debut Malaysian film with Diva. His vision is to reestablish Malaysia to its glorious days when classic Malay movies, especially those featuring the legendary P. Ramlee, were made. For one who is fairly new to the Malaysian film-making scene, Sharad has done a fabulous job as Diva will entertain every age group. It is fast-paced, contains lots of drama and youthful energy that we see across the globe today. He has a tailor-made cast that blend really well and perform flawlessly.

Worth mentioning is Ning Baizura who steals the limelight every time she appears. She has a tough role as Kartika, a star who faces rejection from her own mother. Hiding a sad tale, she still portrays a kind image and the challenging ending scenes appear very natural for Ning. AC Mizal is the comic relief and although his lines may have been rather common, his facial expressions are bound to leave the audience in stitches! And for one who is meant to be egoistic and stubborn, Balkisyh does an excellent job. There are scenes that come across as fake, for example when JIWA repent for their mistake, they change their minds so quickly that it seems far-fetched. As the sponsor, Hotlink is promoted throughout the movie in humorous scenes.

Music prodigy and composer Mithoon Sharma has seven soundtracks for this film. Known for his big hit with Tere Bin in India, Mithoon comes up with a soundtrack that is bound to become a hit as soon as it reaches our market. Bintang Impianku, Nafas dan Hidup, Kasih and Lagu Cinta are among the famous tracks of the show. Bintang Impianku is sung by Ning herself.

Caesar Gonsalves of Caesar-Bosco from India (who has worked on movies like Kuch Naa Kaho and Munnabhai MBBS) does a superb job capturing scenic sights of Malaysia. Shots of Putrajaya, Sunway Lagoon and Berjaya Hills are seen in delightful ways that maximise the beauty of our local tourism spots.

Diva will be released simultaneously in five countries - Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and India. It is set to raise the standards of our Malaysian film industry and it is one musical that we can all be proud of.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008

   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P12 - Parental guidance required for audiences under the age of 12.
13 - For audiences aged 13 years old and above.
16 - For audiences aged 16 years old and above.
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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