Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Pecah": First Impression

Though Pecah is months away from its release date, already we can hear the inevitable book vs. movie debate. Like I always say, these debates are pointless because they're apples and oranges. Unlike The Hunger Games [2012], I've read Pecah from cover to cover and despite the fruity writing style, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Still, whether or not the movie will live up to the novel is irrelevant because there's really no need for the adaptation to be slavishly faithful. It should be free to be its own thing.

Speaking of faithful adaptations, the Twilight movies were somewhat faithful (except for the first one), and look how they turned out. Anyway, before I go any further, have a look at the recently-released theatrical trailer;

If you've seen the official poster, then the trailer would have caught you by surprise as well because you wouldn't expect it to be lathered with that kind of comedy. Don't get me wrong, I'm open to the idea. Like I said, the movie should be free to be its own thing. It's just the way it's being packaged that I find to be odd. Why? Well, to answer that, we have to wind the clock back a couple of weeks.

On March 19th, GB unveiled the official poster for Pecah. A lot of people seemed cool with it (including author Khairulnizam Bakeri himself), but there were just as many who looked upon it with scorn. Me, I just saw a missed opportunity to play around with the cool factor of Pecah. But then I gave it the benefit of the doubt since I had no idea what's the tone of the movie. Perhaps the adaptation is as dank and gritty as the poster suggests.

But then the trailer came out.

Click on image to enlarge
Now, I have to clarify that I didn't take issue with the lack of artsiness in the poster. It's a movie poster, not a Monet or a Picasso. I am, however, bothered by two things;

#1 How basic it is
Here's how it probably went down; "Somebody set up the green screen! Okay, great. Tony, stand right there and look cool. Nice. Next! Alright, Shoffi, stand right there and look cool. Great. Next! Awesome. Next! Super. Next! Beautiful. Is that everybody? Alright, we're done here. Send the photos to Awang, tell him to do something pecah-like. I'll be at the pantry."

"Kecoh la Mamü. Poster je kot!"

Well, that's the problem, isn't it? Generally speaking, Malaysians still think of movie posters as something "takat nak cukup syarat je", hence not as much thought are put into it. I'm afraid I can't agree with that. The poster, along with the trailer, serve as the 'face' of a movie. Therefore it's always a good idea to incorporate at least the motif into the poster (think I'll scan the lil' sketch I made). You can't tell what kind of a movie Pecah's gonna be from the poster, can you?

#2 How incongruent the two are
There might have been a communication breakdown here because the poster and the trailer seem to disagree with each other.

*cracks knuckles* "Shit's going down!"
*clown honk*
Could have been worse, though. At least Julian Cheah was nowhere near this movie.

One last thing. Just in case some of you out there are wondering why they didn't at least retain the tone of the novel (book vs. movie debate aside), I say it probably has to do with the fact that our movies have to be dumbed down for the LPF. You see, they have this crippling inability to put things in its proper context, therefore our industry has to pay the price and they're not able to tell stories that they want to tell as a result.

So when you have something as extreme as a bank robbery, you have to package it in a comedic way so our brave men and women at the LPF could pick up their crayons and properly give it a rating. After all, you don't want teenagers to start robbing banks after they watch this movie, do you?

LPF: Insists that Malaysians are idiots since 1952
But I digress. There's also that possibility that it was a creative decision made by the production crew since before the project was greenlighted. I don't know. Everything in the second half of this entry is speculation. When will we know for sure? June 13th, 2013 - When the movie comes out. Until then, I shall say no more.

Pecah could be good, really. I just couldn't tell from the poster or the trailer.


Anonymous said...

demmm...pleaseeee no, i love this novel...dont ruin it with bad movie..dem..dem. I hate myself being malaysian now!
-Dark angel

Anonymous said...

completely failure ... what can i say more bout this shit ops sorry this movie.. btw never judge a book by its movie..

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