I must admit, my expectations were sky high. Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa was an epic legend and I have read the original chronicles from beginning to end umpteenth times. To say it is fascinating does not do it justice.
Yes, it tells the story of the Roman prince and the Chinese princess and how Merong Mahawangsa started a dynasty in Kedah Zamin Turan. It told the origin of the Kedah Sultanate and the story of Raja Bersiung. Of the coming of Siam, Patani and Perak and the connection between the three nations. Of ogres and fairies. Of a world lost in time.
The adaptation of the storyline for the movie I must say was well done. The period chosen was an exciting era and the idea to feature the mysterious Garuda as a pirate nation was brilliant. Stephen Rahman Hughes's acting was believable. The effort made in creating beautiful and authentic costumes is commendable.
However, apart from that, I was floored by my disappointment and it took me days to recover. The CGI overwhelmed the story, making it comical at times. The narration was too long and overbearing, there is simply no other way to put it. The acting was acceptable individually. Together, they were too much like parts of a jigsaw puzzle that did not quite fit. There was too much comedy overtones which did not suit the epic background of the movie. The movie did not move me in the least, and that I think was its worst crime.
Still it is a beginning. We have so much to offer in terms of beautiful legends and epics to showcase to the world. I hope Yusry continues to learn from the movies Langkasuka (Nonzee Nimibutr) and Puteri Gunung Ledang (Saw Teong Hin). And from old classics like Sumpah Semerah Padi and Hang Tuah which was screened at the Berlin Film Festival way back in 1957! P Ramlee movies were constantly winning awards from 1956 to 1964 in various categories. If Saw Teong Hin, Yusry and Tiara continue their quest for perfection, we will one day make it.
Let us move on to the next project.
If I could turn back the clock
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