ReviewWriter: Ajami HashimWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Bukak Api”, “Brokeback Mountain”, “The Adventures of Priscilla ”, “Queen of the Desert”, “Transamerica”
"... Dalam Botol" depicts the gritty realism of regret one needs to live through when a life altering decision is made. In a gist "...Dalam Botol" illustrates the mistakes, lessons and lost bliss that Arja Lee's character, Ruby/Rubidin, has brought upon himself.
Although the movie explores Ruby and Ghaus' (Wan Raja) homosexual relationship right at the start, the bigger picture however serves as a stern warning to those who are considering the alternate lifestyle. It does not wish to punish those who are unable to help their sexual preference or even to condone the gay community. This movie tells us that even though it is a person's own free will to undergo a sex change operation, one should be prepared to face the burden of the consequences that comes along with it as well.
The part where Rubidin visits his ailing father back in his childhood village serves as a touching eye-opener. Particularly when Rubidin's mother Makcik Sal (Normah Damanhuri) and his father Pak Mus (Jalil Hamid) are expressing their disappointment of their son's choices in life but never once did they speak of disowning him as their son. Pak Mus still accepts Rubidin as his beloved son and puts him in charge of his will as well as funeral preparations when he dies.
"... Dalam Botol" also observes how Rubidin had messed-up his potential future with Dina (Diana Danielle). Although Dina is not as perfect as she may seem by harbouring secrets of her own, at least she is capable of gaining a second chance, unlike Rubidin who fails to embody the masculine strength that Dina requires so badly in her life.
The strength of this movie is unquestionably the quality of acting delivered by the actors, which fruitfully embodied their respective roles in the most sincere way possible. It falters as a commercial film, but succeeds in dealing with the subject matter of its theme. For Khir Rahman's directorial debut it is an impressive effort.
The beginning of the movie displays an interesting style of editing which illustrates the chaotic urban life of Ruby through its jump cuts, close-ups and rickety style of filming. When the story shifts to the village, a different approach of filming is then employed. It utilises more of panning shots and long shots that present a brighter and wider outlook towards Rubidin's life.
The soundtrack that was handpicked by Saidah Rastam and Khir Rahman for the score of the movie is very unconventional, but somehow manages to fit the ambience of the movie. The two main songs that were used were "Mana Ku Tahu" by L-Vynn Mohsin at the beginning of the movie and then later towards the end, "Buka Pintu" by Anneke Gronloh which were decent enough. The soundtrack was only heard at specific moments of the movie, therefore the rest of the scenes were left with real-time background noises to emphasise the emptiness and confusion of Rubidin's mind. Khir Rahman picks filming locations that at times may seem like he is desperately pushing boundaries, but the reviewer believes he has his own hidden meanings embedded through them.
"...Dalam Botol" as Khir Rahman's directorial debut is very laudable and he exhibits definite potential to make more quality-laden movies. Producer Raja Azmi that had the courage to support a movie that tells the true story of her close friend, is also someone who is not short of a well-deserved praise.Cinema Online, 28 March 2011