Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ridiculous Complaints About Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa [2011]

The full title of this post is actually "Complaints About Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa By People Who Don't Know What They're Talking About", but that's a tad too long, and I didn't want to shorten it to "Complaints About Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa By Dumbasses" because... well, that wouldn't be very nice now, would it?

Nevertheless, it made my intent very clear. You all know by now that I gave Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa [2011] a nod of approval, and also a very favourable review. Not surprisingly, not everybody feels the same way as I do.

"NOOOO!!!!"
I don't have the statistics for it, but virtually everybody is saying that it was good "for a Malaysian movie". Now, I don't do that as a general rule. I never put the country of origin into consideration whenever I review a movie. Which is why you may or may not have noticed that I'm a harsh critic of Yusof Haslam. I think the dude is better off doing acting rather than making movies.

Okay, maybe not... I take that back!!
Another craptastic film maker would be Razak Mohaideen. I gotta tell you, I wouldn't waste my time watching Cinta this or Cinta that, along with other movies of similar "quality" (and I'm using that term very, very lightly) like Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah [2011]. If you ask me they should just send all their movies back to that garbage dump where they came from, and sell their brains to the black market while they're at it. Maybe someone will have better use for 'em.


But this isn't about me. This is me seeing Malaysia's prevalent culture of double-standard rearing its ugly head once again, and this time Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa is the victim. I understand if you don't find it entertaining because it just didn't click with you, maybe you're not a fan of the genre. After all, you can't force someone to love a local movie just because it's homemade, the same way you can't force people to love Nasi Lemak or durian just because it's a Malaysian delicacy.

But please, if you were to criticise a movie, please do so for what it was, rather than for what it was not. Check out this very lengthy review of the movie by some douche. I chose this one because it somehow encapsulates the general opinion of those not in favour of the movie;


I bet the dude was very proud of himself, crying out "You just got owned, bitch!" as he finished that last sentence. Well, if you'd like to hear my two cents, here are some of the common complaints about the movie, and my attempt to squish 'em all like little bugs.

The Complaints


#1 Historical Inaccuracy
Now, the source material is more of a mythology than actual history. Malays in the old days hardly wrote anything down, and when they did, there's always that strong fantastical and mystical overtones. Still, that guy up there made it clear that he would have preferred if the production crew adhered to the actual text, meaning instead of Merong Mahawangsa battling a warrior tribe called Geruda, he wanted to see him fight an actual Garuda.

Because this would have been a lot less ridiculous?!
If you want a history lesson, go read a book! Speaking of history, that leads us to the next complain...

#2 English Language
Believe it or not, there are people saying that they shouldn't be speaking English. They're (including that moron) saying that it was ridiculous for every character, comprised of various cultures and ethnicity to be able to converse in modern English. Moron up there gave a suggestion, he said it would have been a lot more plausible if they spoke "classical English".


If you're really gonna complain about this, then I should tell you that nobody spoke English back then. Heck, not even Shakespearean English existed at that time.

But you knew that already I'm sure, so why didn't you complain when nobody spoke Latin in Gladiator [2000]? Or the fact that everybody used modern English in Pirates of the Caribbean [2003]? Or the fact that nobody spoke Greek in Troy [2004]? It's common sense! When I watch a movie, I want to be able to understand what they're saying.

With regards to his suggestion that they use classical English, turn on your brain for a second and think how hellish it would have been if the characters speak like they're reciting lines from Homer's Iliad.

Say whaaaat?!
#3 Weak Plot
Err... Exactly what were you expecting? It's a historical fantasy, and the plot clearly outlined that this story is loosely based on the actual Kedah Annals, about how he became a King and all. Just how do you think they could have improved on the story?

Like this?


... If you're not saying they should have added some plot twists or something, what is it that you're saying then? Maybe I'm just drowsy, but I couldn't think of any way to spice things up. But then again, I wouldn't bother.

It was good for what it was; It held nothing back when it comes to their depiction of tribal warfare (remember the blood and gore?), some fantastical elements (the black magic) without straying too far from what's plausible.

And just so you know, the production crew did not pull the Archimedes Death Ray out of their asses, it was indeed a real weapon.


You'd be surprised by how much you could learn from watching Mythbusters. Sure, its workability is a subject for debate, but you gotta give KRU Studios credit for taking the road less travelled, and brought us this very, very memorable movie.

So to all of you who complained about any of the above, you just got owned, bitch!

#4 Complaints by Malay Supremacists
I'm a little reluctant to bring this up, because it might take the movie into the realm where the production crew tried so hard to avoid. But some dumbass brought it up anyway, and his (or her) complaints were nothing short of stupid. Observe;


Clearly this dude is a racist who would gladly whitewash history in favour of make-believe. His complaint seemed to stem from his belief that the Malay culture is absolute, like it was dropped directly from the sky or something; meaning that very the moment our ancestors arrived on these lands, immediately they shed whatever they were wearing and replaced them with tengkolok, baju melayu with kain sampin and magically pulled the keris out of thin air. And then all of a sudden they realised that they know Silat.

Wow! These lands are so magical!!
Dude, are you stupid or something?

It is true that this is no documentary, but the events from the movie takes place way before Islam as we know it today existed. Even our Great Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wasn't born yet. So why do the people in the movie dressed like they're of the Hindu religion? Because they were Hindu! It only make sense that the way they dressed were influenced by the culture and the deities.

Heck, you can't even call them Malays because there was no such thing back then. Just like many other cultures at the time, people identify themselves with the tribe or the village they belong to, not so much about their skin colour.

But the reason I got a little worked up about that so-called criticism? He's trying to turn an action/historical fantasy movie into some kind of a racial supremacy propaganda! That is why you should feel ashamed about yourself, instead of complaining about the *supposedly* unflattering depiction of ancient inhabitants of this land.

40 comments:

Azroy Bin Kassim said...

nice one dude

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

hahaha... thanks.
I'm just telling it like it is.

charlie fa said...

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Che Mat said...

Mamu!!! hahaha...ganah gilo! keep on writing wei!

A. Hicks said...

Two thumbs up for Mamu!!!!

That's the spirit, mate!

Malaysians are always skeptical about EVERYTHING Malaysian (including themselves... or maybe not?? Okay, I admit, I'm a bit skeptical of myself too!)

Masterpiece like this should be given SOUNDING APPLAUSE! Personally, I see this as the beginning of Malaysia's second Golden Era of Filming Arts (the first being P. Ramlee's time). GANBATEH, Malaysia!

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Mat : ganas ke? hahahaha~ Sarcastic jer

A. Hicks : True that. I mean, I can accept if they say they don't like it because... well, they just don't. But to make dumbass complaints like that is just uncalled for, pretending like they're brilliant movie critics. Makes me sick.

berus said...

tersangatla betol ape yg ko ckp tu wei.. aku puas hati giler tgk HMM ni walopun tiket rm14 haa.. kecoh la diorang yg complain byk ni..

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Thumbs up to you too, bro!
Asal Malaysia yg buat ade jer yg nak hentam tak tentu pasal. Nama salah eja dekat credits pun nak complain.

Serious tak paham...

muhammad iman akmal said...

dude..can u give me the name of the guy who posted the lengthy grammatical error shit bout this awesome movie? its from fb kn? i wanna check him out...

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Owh yeah... Sure. I'll pm you.

Anonymous said...

alaaa,,mnde kcik pun nk bawak gaduh,x payahla nk serang orgnye personal.Die just menyatakan pndapat.Ni smpai nk printskrinla apela,bnyk pekara g lg pntg.Dye da bayar,da tgok da pun.ni siap nk lage2kan org lain.X payahla,siap nk bg id fb dye.Jangan kaga2kan org sbb perkara yg kcik,cuz one day,tuhan akan balas balik kt tuan punye badan.Cukup simpan sndri sudeh.just opinion bro,bukan die hasut org pun

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Dude, welcome to my world of journalism.

mmg dia ade hak nak critic movie tu, tp aku pun ade hak jgk klu nak bidas balik ape yg dia kata tu.

and you're right, I could just leave him alone. But I won't because I'm an asshole... ROFL!

blog ni senang jer; you either take it or leave it. takde saper boleh puaskan hati semua org.

Besides, mane ade sape2 yg gaduh pun. Takkan zaman sekolah dulu tak penah tgk pertandingan debate? Lebih kurg dgn tu la nih...

Anonymous said...

?? Bohong Mahaseksa..??
there's more like it!
i have to agreed to that guy comment..
because in the middle of the movie, all 5 of my member + me just leave the cinema with a dissapointed HIGH RUMORS 'bout this SPECTACULAR MOVIE so far.. STEPHEN much better in PGL

leezKAKIWAYANG said...

OMG! chills guys~ its just a movie...
liza tak suker la camni..

Anonymous said...

haha,,korg ok lg,2 org,time aku 2 row keluar,well mcm aku ckp,lain org,lain taste.Trlalu expect tggi dlm movie ni leh mnybbkn kite frust,just ingt,ni filem meleis,bukan barat,so x leh nk expect tggi.its just a movie.To admin,xperlu nk bg id mamat tu kat sape2.Ko da printscreen,da uplaod kt blog.Smpai bg id fb die kt org lain,kt membr2 ko,anda da melaga2kan org.X baik,berdosa,wht goes around come around.ko da dpt ape ko nak,nk kritik die balik.tp x perlula kot smpai nk ajak kaum2 blog ko attack fb die.Sekadar pndapat,aku pnah gak wat cm ko dlu,melaga2kan org,bg id fb org kt fb,print screen statement mamat tu,last2,aku kene balik.u got what u want,da kritik da kan?.but no need hasut org lain nk bnci this guy..aku x dela ckp disagree dgn posting ko,blog ko,sukeati kola kan,tpx perlu smpai nk bg id fb org sbb nk ajak satu kmpung attack sbb satu pekara kcik.Just a movie,lenla hal perkauman ke,agama ke.xde hallaa.peace,no war.truskan berblogging,tp famous blogger pun x bg id org untuk di attack,kcuali yg penting2 sahaja.

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Aw, c'mon people... You said it yourself, it's a movie, nothing worth getting agitated about. Nobody here's fighting, only exchanging ideas and debating - like all good movies tend to make you do.

As far as the facebook id thingy, alright maybe that's a mistake on my part. But you have to understand I wasn't going to give it out to just anyone, that guy is a personal friend. If it was another stranger asking me for the same thing, I would have refused.

Anonymous said...

sbgai peringatan,kalo personal friend anda sebarkan id mamat tu kt kawan2 yg lain?ko leh jamin ke kawan ko simpan sorg je?..msti die sebarkan kt org lain jugak.nnti sbb muvie,people gaduh kt fb.Sbb tu aku ckp its just a movie,thats mean,x perlu nk bg id kt kgkawan ko ke sape ke sbb da mnybbkan org lain bergaduh.x kesah nk jd ass hole.its understandable,u ve made ur point,anda da provoke die mcm2 kt fb anda..Da bejaya caci da,then anda mgajak kawan2 lain pulak smear his fb.mnde ni bukan pasal hina kaum,bangsa atau agama.Muvie je pun,ni mmber aku yg ko print skrin.Aku x marah lgsung ko nk caci die ke,ape ke,cuz ni between ko dgn die,tp jgn hasut org lain mmbnci org lain.x baik.Nak2 perkara kcikje pun.Just an advise.Nice blog,peace no war

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Don't worry, klu aku tak pecaye kat dia mmg aku tak bagi. dia bkn setakat kawan aku kenal kat fb, bertahun dah kenal, study sama2.

ape benda yg dia ckp kat ko, sampai ko ingat aku buat kempen ajak org ramai2 attack dia? c'mon la, aku ade life kot. benda ni aku sembang dgn kawan aku yg sorg tu jer utk gelak2.

But I'm not saying you're wrong, you've made very good points, and I agree. Things like this won't happen again in the future, that's a promise.

Peace!

charlie fa said...

my instincts say "anonymous" is the guy yg bagi the criticism.

to ppl yg byk complain,KRU tried their best,give them a break la.1st time pulak tu.it's not even a sucky movie.x payah la nk accurate sgt, x payah la nk analysis sgt.mana ada movie yg btl2 accurate pun.enjoy the movie and shut ur piehole will you?

for note,even twilight and harry potter franchise pun suck ass.same goes to a lot of hollywood movies.so give Merong Mahawangsa a break.

Anonymous said...

ow come on laa..Malaysian viewers will never be satisfied with the local production!Ade je yang tak kena..give them a break la!

At least KRU dah set a high standard pada directors or productions yang lain2.We should be proud la Malaysia dah mampu buat this kind of movie dgn kostum,cgi nye n details nye.

But maybe Malaysian viewers only prefer crita Cintan2 yang -oh-my-so-lame and you can actually predict what's gonna happen next?

Ni baru first movie,relax la..tak yah kot hentam teruk2.Kite2 yang biasa ni bole ke nak bwt movie mcmtu?Or kite pndai ckp je?

Anonymous said...

Malays in the old days hardly wrote anything down, and when they did, there's always that strong fantastical and mystical overtones.

I'm sorry to say this, but this fact is actually wrong. malays in the old days did wrote a lot of things. and malays have their own alphabet system called rencong,its even older than the jawi, and they wrote on bamboo sticks. when islam came to tanah melayu at that time, the alphabet system slowly extincted and replaced by the jawi.

and most of our historical documents, books and kitab, well most of it were taken away by invaders, the britons, portuegese who invaded malacca. the portuegese burnt down malacca's majestic palace and of course all those documents went down with it too. even now, a museum in Portugal actually keeps an ancient book called 'Kitab Raja-raja'. in the book, it recorded a story of a powerful sorcerer who lived for 200 years but eventually he was killed by hang tuah. very epic eh?

Anonymous said...

x la,,anynmomous ni ialah,,org yg x suke melaga2kan org..pastu bg id kt kawan2 anda,,pastu kawan anda attack sbb perkara kcik,Just a movie.Suke ke kaum anda berpecah belah sbb perkara remeh temeh?Yep,,mmg thniahlaa...KRu is a good production crew,,just this movie,,media trlalu agung2kan,tu yg frustrated,tu je cik charlie.Oh,by the way,mamat yg print screen tu mmber aku.Aku pun x rapat dgn die,just sdehla,org mlayu berpcah,memaki2 kt fb sbb perkara kcik.Sbb muvie pun nk laga2kan org.Simpan sndri,sudah.bnyk perkara lain bwak gaduh.Aku nasihat bukan sbb apa,mmber si mamu ni da g trjah wall mmber aku ni.Sbb perkara kcik nk trjah menerjah ke?..lainla hina agama ke,perkauman ke.Banyak pkara lain yg leh bwak gaduh guys.Jangan sbb movie,kite berpcah belah,saling bermsuh.Sbb ape?sbb satu pihak suke tgok MHH ni,yg sorg lg x suke?..Trimela org lennye opinion,its just an opinion.By the way,die x melaga2kan org kaum die sndri.

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Adoi laaa... Dia main race card pulak. ko ni serious overreacting, I'm so sick of you. kitorg yg laga2 kan org ke, ko sendiri yg tak habis2 nak mention pasal kaum? kitorg cuma disagree with his comments, tu jer. yg ko melalut pasal ukhwah la, melayu itu, kaum ini... buat ape?

ko sendiri ckp, it's just about a movie. ade ke org attack dia pasal critic citer melayu? No, I criticised him back because his complaints were ridiculous.

about the id thing, I've already apologised. Let it go already.

So go suck your friend's dick and leave us alone.

-khaleeda hamdan- said...

well, i'm not on anyone's side but seems like Mr Anon menegakkan benang yang basah. U make me laugh hard. Hahahaha..Org mcm ni xyah layan. Biar dia bodoh sorang2 je.

charlie fa said...

ni apahal masuk melagakan kaum bagai ni? "-____- do u need some drug to calm down man?

Halle Calypso said...

melalut2. ape dr merong mahawangsa da masuk pulak isu2 perkauman n stuff.

agaknye si anon slah msuk blog kot?
maafkanlah dia.

HEADSINK said...

I'm not trolling here, but in my opinion, Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah is far better aethetically compared to Mereng Maha Bangsat. This movie is self-indulgent, syok sendiri. KRU guys can't write stories, I will put this movies in the same dust bin as Puteri Gunung Ledang. Effects and Cinematography doesn't give you a good movie is the movie plot is childlike garbage!!

HEADSINK said...

Typo: Hantu Kak Limah was aesthetically better compared to this crap. I can debate all day long about it. Hey that guy knew Archimedes Death Ray. I don't care about KRU being smart ass knowing that basic fact. All I care is that Mereng Maha Bangsat is degrading with weak story. If you think the story was great go check your head there must be something wrong.

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Hantu Kak Limah is "aesthetically" better than Hikayat? Err... You do know what that word means, do you? Or are you just saying it to sound clever?

Aesthetic = Concerned with beauty, beauty, artistic impact or appearance

If we're talking about the aesthetic value, how can a movie laden with CGI and special effects be topped with a slapstick comedy like Hantu Kak Limah?

May I know how you feel about movies like Lord of the Rings or Gladiator? Do you think it the plot on those two are weak as well?

Anon said...

I haven't watched this, yet. I like "epic/historical" movies. Hollywood churns out hell lot of them, which is good. Unfortunately, we don't get that many of it from our local industry. So i'm hoping HMMW will at least get descent success/profit. So that it wouldn't deter malaysian producers/directors to make more of them rather than "lawak bodoh" & "cerita hantu tahyul syirik khurafat".

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

@Anon
They say that the movie made profit even before it was released here in Malaysia. Apparently due to the international support they received. Good for them, really. You're right, I'm happy that movies like this get more recognition rather than the kind you mentioned :)

totti 10 said...

yeah cmplaining abot language is ridiculous because it happens in many hollywood movies. i just watched "the eagle" last week, where the romans speak english, and they went to britain, where the british are speaking some weird language. isnt that funny? lol

Anonymous said...

That guy certainly didn't watch mythbusters. that's why it's helpful if they actually watch discovery channel. LOL.

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Amen to that, Farouk and Anon (5:37)

Hariri Din said...

For the Anon to say u dnt hve rights to share that dude's FB ID is correct. I mean, come on lah, u actually reflect that dude comments right? Then u should'nt tell evryone his ID. Blog writers manners. U should know that.

But I agree ur views too abt whattheheck sharing his ID can bring to Race Wars? AHAH. Hey anon. Why u want so badly proud with Malays? Usha balek, kite sume dtg dr Nabi Adam kan? JENG JENG JENG! This land actually is not ours. Can we accept that fact? WE Malays just explorer who success building a piece of unknown land to become a great land. The actual owners of this land is Orang Asli which is knownly came from Africa land. Pun explorer jgak senanyeee. Don't tell me to revise again Sejarah KBSM. Fucking bullshit liars! Yes, truth is hurt, but after a while, u really relieve to know the truth.

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

I didn't tell everyone, just that one friend of mine. But I don't deny that it was wrong. I got caught up with trolling the guy I forgot whatever unwritten rules we have.

Ibnor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ibnor said...

Hahaha... sry, i know that im kinda left behind but this is funny.

"i used to be a man"..

nice one. but, seriously, i got 1 lesson. whatever happened, released, exposed or whatnot in the blog, stay within the blog. thnx 4 that...

muhammad iman akmal said...

sorry 4 the late reply..huhu..xsedar pun comment on this story da jd pnjg berjela..i just realize it when i read mamu's new post td..sorry bro, if this matter caused u so much trouble, im very sorry..

fyi to those who condemned mamu's decision on sharing the id with me, i did not and will not share that fella's id with anyone else..cause i promised mamu not to share it with anyone else..plus i berpegang kepada 'bro code' made by barney stinson..haha...

and fyi lg, i did not post any comment regarding the matter on that fella's wall for everyone to read and judge, all i did was i PM him on fb..so which part of my action that says.."hey look at my comment and lets condemn him together-gather"..lol! its a pm not wall post, no one could possibly know about it unless he himself share it with others...

im v sorry to all, especially to my bro, mamu...

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

LOL, hey don't worry about it bro! Truth be told I kinda saw it coming. I just didn't think the guy would be so persistent, and start talking nonsense about kaum la, apa la. So yeah, chances are that anonymous is the same guy we burned, and that gave me a great laugh! :D

Seriously, don't worry. I don't blame you one bit. After all, you did ask me first if it's okay to link this blog to him. And I thought "Hell yeah!"

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