Friday, January 27, 2012

Relationship Status [2012]

Director: Khairil M. Bahar
Cast: Gavin Yap, Davina Goh, Tony Eusoff, Daphne Iking, Susan Lankester, Baki Zainal, Ruzana Ibrahim, Benji Lim, Amanda Ang, Alfred Loh, Shuba Jay
Genre: Romantic comedy
Rating: General
Excerpt: "A Romantic comedy that everybody in the 21st century can relate to..."

Based on the numerous options available on social networking sites, Relationship Status tells the story of a number of KL-ites from all walks of life whose relationships are created, changed and sometimes even ruined by the way we communicate in the 21st century.

What to Expect
1. The characters to feel like real people
2. Funny exchanges
3. To play out like a sitcom
4. Lovely, atmospheric soundtrack

What NOT to Expect
1. The Katherine Heigl experience
A good start for 2012
It bugs me that Relationship Status only saw limited release because movies like this don't come very often. Yeah, I know that it has to do with the budget; Notice how desktop monitors in the movie flickered due to the lack of CG. But I didn't take issue with that at all as I'm not one to talk about how "the cinematography could use some improvements", or "the camerawork looked sloppy". Only the pretentious ones do.

The point I'm trying to make here is that the movie had a really nice flow and aside from that tiny little detail, nothing else in the movie stood out to me as being incongruent.

A commentary I came across while looking for publicity stills pretty much said it all, Relationship Status is a movie that couldn't have been made in any other time but now, so you can expect a lot of things that you can relate to because every character in the movie felt like real people who dealt with real issues. So don't go into it expecting to see a grand, over-the-top romantic gesture and a lengthy speech about how useless the male lead is without his love interest.

The payoff of this movie came from the exchanges between the characters, and the subtlety in each line was what made them memorable. I'm sure many of those who saw it before me will say the same thing, even if they can't quite put their finger on the reason for it. You see, what makes a lot of Romantic-comedies so cringeworthy is how hard they try to convince us that the characters are romantically interested with each other, when in actuality real life couples don't feel the need to impress each other all the goddamn time.

If that sounds dull, then perhaps you're better off watching one of those Romcoms where the two leads start off not being able to stand each other, before they inexplicably fall in love, and we're expected to believe that simply because they're both physically attractive. No, what you will see here instead is how the characters banter, argue, work on their relationship and even mourn like, well... Like real people do.

Alright, enough about realism. What was also equally pleasing was the presentation of the movie, and it further proved that you don't need millions of Ringgit to make a good movie, because a little creativity goes a long way. Even though the plot must have looked simple on paper, in less capable hands the movie would have ended up being convoluted due to their decision to tell the story in a non-linear fashion, and featuring an ensemble cast.

Then there are numerous pop culture references, and some observational humour too regarding how social networks are being used today, topped off with some lovely selection of songs and an atmospheric film score. I shall not elaborate too much on these points as to not spoil anything for you, even though the movie has ended its run. But I'm sure it will pop up again soon, so be on a lookout for it.

At the end of the day, I may not have walked out of the cinema feeling ecstatic enough to grant it a "Masterpiece" rating, but that's probably because Romantic-comedy has never really been my genre of choice. All the same I really enjoyed Relationship Status, and it was more than worth shelling out ten bucks for.


Anne Lee said...

I'm proud to say that my cousin sista is one of the actors in this movie.

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Cool! Which one?

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