水曜日, 12月 14, 2005

Wa caya sama lu!

mamat khalid's ROCK is no almost famous. nor is it rockstar (not that it was any good) or even nasir jani's kembara seniman jalanan. what it had was a quasi-nostalgic trip down memory lane for people like me who grew up listening to music from the 80's rock kapak phenomenon. it had the ideas. it had its moments. it also, sadly, had bits which were downright disappointing.

the film's premise was about four guys, with monikers which paid to tribute to the malay rockers from that era, from a kampung in perak. together, they formed rimba bara and had the hopes of winning a battle of the bands competition in taiping (the town was not mentioned but seeing the casual market and the hokkien assembly hall gave the game away). amy, the lead singer, played by que haidar, had the runs during the competition, leaving joe to handle vocal duties as well as bass duties. rimba bara's surprising success saw amy leaving the band only to be replaced by zul kapan (shoffi jikan), singer of a rival death/black metal band, malaikat maut, which reeks of kemiyan wherever they go.

ROCK was filled with the necessary cliches. the film tagline mentioned the coolness of wearing aliph (remember this brand?) hi-cut trainers. the loudness thunder in the east band t-shirts. the red levi's 'key' scarves tied around the knee. the music videos with the drummer playing with one snare drum and wind blowing in the singer's hair. BPR's dari sinar mata playing in the background as soon zack (the guitarist) had his sights on kathy (siti elizad), his childhood sweetheart. the tributes were loads. i swore if you could have been on the film set, you would smell the tancho.

the film managed to parody the malaysian hair-metal scene pretty well with occasional spinal tap-esque moments, like the crap gigs rimba bara had to play after their small success. the tongue-in-cheek jokes were spot on (ripping off the bus seat covers before a gig, jibes about the band called handy black). the soundtrack (the likes of lefthanded, search, wings and BPR) was great but they shouldn't have had the bands singing to the actual recorded songs (could've had someone else singing to make it sound more like a cover). in many ways i knew what mamat wanted to convey but some of the script didn't come across as well as it should. also, the script could've been made the conversations more pasar. the flow was somewhat rushed in the final bits of the film, reminiscent of that in star wars episode III. the manager was on the over side, if you catch my drift. and the CGI bird (kinda unnecessary, actually) moment could've been done better.

the four lads playing rimba bara were actually quite good. the enthusiastic and feet-always-on-the-ground jijo (khir rahman, he was tun mamat in PGL). the kutu-with-a-future-and-a-chick, zack (hasnol rahmat), who practises licks on his blue strat with an avian metronome. the not-always-with-it singer, amy, and always-quiet-but-with-a-reason drummer, black (azmi baharom). they could do with more convincing wigs, though.

ROCK could've been a good 3 or 4 out of 5 in my books, but the little disappointments peppered throughout the film brought itself down to an average 2 and a half.