Kapoor and Sons (2016) – Raw and Real Family Drama.

By The Gorgeous Palah Chinguz

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Rating : 4/5

Seriously i didn’t expect anything in this film and it turns out to have everything ; emotional journey, Great assemble of casts, strong plot and extra points for having fawad in the film. He’s such a Bae. I swear my head just wanted to explode because I can’t brain how wrong I am to think that this will be another cliche Bollywood film. A lot of spoiler will be discussed later on as I can’t hold myself any longer. I need to get this thoughts out of my head as soon as possible.

Homosexuality and the society’s acceptance.

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Rahul Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor and Tia Malik.

You’re kidding, right? It’s 2016 and we never had a fair share of bollywood films that tried to view homosexuality in a positive way. We mocked gays in the film and always portrayed them as too feminine and flamboyant person. Homophobic much? I get it that our parent’s generation might not accepted homosexuality and their takes on it will be it is not normal. How about our generation? Us? Millennials? Didn’t we saw that changes is coming? The cultural change can be done but it starts with us. With the right mentality, education and open mindedness, we can help them to feel that there are nothing wrong with them. It pains me to see how Fawad portrayed Rahul Kapoor , the perfect son, the successful author and the entrepreneur but still hiding in the closet. He pretended to have a girlfriend and all but deep down wishing that his mother will see right through him so he don’t have to pretend anymore. It was tiring living a double life and be a person you don’t want to be. Up to the point, he even said to his brother, Arjun Kapoor, that he’s willing to surrender his place of being the perfect son in their family to Arjun.

I wont drag my religion into it. Not to be defensive about it actually but i do believe what  you do and whom you choose to love is personal choice. It can only be between you and god. Simple as that. Fanatics, fundamentalists and conservatives might argue differently but let them be. They have no other job aside from being religious police.

Parent’s favourite child.

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Rahul Kapoor and… his father’s broken car.

If you can’t figure out whose your parent’s favourite child, that means you are the one. If you can, then it’s real. Don’t cry, your parents are human too. They make mistakes and these are one of their mistakes that we have to make peace & move on eventually. Of course they keep saying they love your siblings and you equally but ……. I think you can figure it out. Sunitha Kapoor and His husband, may not vocally said that their favorite son is Rahul but all acts pointed it was him. In this film, Arjun Kapoor is the innocent victim caught in this parents’ disease (as I called it).Sidharth Malhotra’s performance as Arjun Kapoor is not bad at all. There are moments which you could feel how unfair his parents treated him. Rahul drove and accidentally damaged the car yet their father get angry at Arjun. Rahul’s room remain intact when he’s gone but Arjun’s room being used by their mom to escape from her problematic marriage. Both of them are struggling authors but yet their mother choose to save Rahul’s career by sharing Arjun’s idea to Rahul. That’s really fucked up and no excuses could make up for it. Sunitha has her own reasons to do so , I guess but it was totally unfair.

Infidelity in MArriage.

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Harsh and Sunitha Kapoor reminiscing their fun memories.

I may not support polygamy but i know that there is no such thing as monogamy. People fell in love but they also fell out of love. When you get married, you not only need love to strengthen the relationship, you also need tolerance and compromise. I am surprised how many people didnt realized this and yet they wonder why they are not happy in their marriage. The question arose is how much longer can you tolerate and compromise, to what extend can you tolerate and compromise because for me if you tolerate and compromise too much, you’re going to lose yourself. Marriage is good for some people but if its begin to make you feel dreadful and despised it, then fucking leave. Why they bother to stay and try to save the marriage is beyond me. Rajat kapoor totally nailed the character of Harsh Kapoor ; Intense father and grumpy husband. Ive seen Rajat in his best performance especially in Ankhon Dekhi but this role also worth noting too. This is second time Ratna Pathak played Fawad’s mother and their chemistry never cease to amaze audiences. Fawad will always be the favorite son on screen, I presume especially in bollywood. What are the causes of infidelity in marriage? I just cant seem to place it mainly on the major cause.

Whenever I said Men wanted to be with younger and prettier wife, thats not necessarily true cause ive seen before whereby husband cheated on his wife with someone older/uglier than his wife. Is it because of unsatisfying and repetitive sex or lame bed skills? Could it be one of the causes of husband/wife betraying their own spouse? In this film, it was obvious that the feelings is not there anymore. Harsh Kapoor was having an affair with his colleague until he quitted his job at the bank. His wife knew the affair and thought it was over. She still taunted him occasionally but never in a million years thought that her husband is continuously meeting her behind her back.

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Overall, this is one of the good films that i’ve watched this year. Bad prediction from my side but i was satisfied the way this film turned out to be. Rishi Kapoor is amazing as a grandfather in this film. He is mischievous and playful. Rishi Kapoor take the acting to the next level by wearing prosthetic to portray someone 20 years older than his own age. Im sorry i didnt write much about him though.

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Short Getaway to Kuala Sepetang, Perak

by Ruby Gege

All hail the weekends, people! Palah and I decided that for our second weekend getaway, we would go to Kuala Sepetang. Where the hell is that? You may ask. Trust me, I asked the same question two years ago. Hahaha.

Kuala Sepetang is a small town 16 km away from Taiping. It is not much of a town, really, but a highly-functional fishing village. It used to be quite busy as a mining area and was formerly known as Port Weld (fancy name, eh?) It is known for its great seafood, fishing village that looked pretty much the same since Merdeka days and its riverside tourism (boat ride, eagle-sighting, dolphin sighting (if you’re lucky) and some fireflies stuff, too). Since I am not a fan of nature, my purpose was mainly to enjoy the scenery and fresh air, aside from going to the Matang Museum and Mangrove Forest walk.

The drive from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Sepetang can be quite tiring. Thus, Palah and I (joined by our master nappers, Jeep and Fatin) decided to stop by Ipoh and spent the first night at Palah’s family home. We headed to Kuala Sepetang the next day, which took us about one hour.

The first place we went was Kedai Makan Yut Sun, a superb kopitiam in Taiping. For the past 2 years, I have been having an intense love affair with this establishment. We orded the best food to have there – kaya and butter bread, chicken chop with rice, Roti Seremban and kuey tiow. The coffee there, I tell you, is one of the best coffee in Malaysia.

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Palah looking absolutely serious and Fatin choosing what to eat.

Afterwards, we headed to Matang Museum, which is situated between Taiping and Kuala Sepetang. Rich in history, it tells the history of a powerful Malay nobleman, Ngah Ibrahim, who ruled Larut (together with Matang and Selama, the districts had Taiping as their capital). During his rule, chaos reigned as the Larut Wars were happening between the clan of Hai San and Ghee Hin, two Chinese secret society based in Malaya during that time. Come the intervention of the Perak Sultanate and the British colonial government, somehow Ngah Ibrahim found himself punished for opposing the British rule. A complex history at that time, to be sure.

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Matang Museum, also known as Kota Ngah Ibrahim

The building itself is beautifuuuul! The fort surrounding the building is actually the original fort of Ngah Ibrahim’s mansion. The house is also quite intact. When we went in, the officers of the museum were quiet but cordial to us. The exhibitions in the museum are also praiseworthy. They have different sections – the different types of miners (Chinese and Malay), the Japanese rule, the replica of offices of Malay noblemen and British officers. Aside from that, the museum also offers lots of knowledge about important historical figures that our mainstream society has seem to have forgotten about.

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Jeep smiling with the vintage background. Looks like a painting, does it not? The wall, I mean, not Jeep.

The outer side of the museum, of course, is highly Instagram-ish. It is a good thing that they did not alter or renovate the paint so much that the building retains a nostalgic and historical feel.

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Where art thou, Captain Speedy? Here’s to me fantasizing myself as a Malay princess 200 years ago, and Jeep ignoring my antics.

A few hundred metres from the main building is the house of Captain Speedy, who was Ngah Ibrahim’s officer. Sadly, though, the building is not open for visitors so we could only get to take a picture outside the house.

Then, off we went to Kuala Sepetang. The first place we stopped by is the Mangrove Forest Reserve. Since I am not much of nature’s lover, I’ll just say this to you – it is quite an amazing place for you to take a nice long walk. In the forest. Literally. Surrounded by a gazillion trees. Palah went cray cray with her love for greeneries. Haha. According to Palah, the Mangrove Forest here was actually declared as the best mangrove forest reserve in the world! Not bad, Malaysia, not bad. Sometimes, the country does make me proud!

There is also a small jetty at the end of our walk. We rested by the jetty for a while. Palah embodied her role as a serious inspiring photographer, taking a picture of what-not.

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After spending some time there, we went to have lunch at the famous Mee Udang Mak Jah. The mee udang there is soooo delicious! It is spicy, soupy and has lots and lots of fresh prawns.

After lunch, we went to our hotel, the Happy 8 Retreat, which is right by the river. It is a nice place to stay, though can be quite tiring as it has no elevator and our room is on the (God forbid) 3rd FLOOR! So, lots of climbing for us fat people! The staffs are quite helpful and friendly, most of them seem to be local people. We took a nap, rested and basically enjoyed our beds and air-conditioner. However, if you guys are serious coffee or tea drinkers like me, I would suggest that you bring your own supply of beverages since they don’t supply it a lot there (like… only one packet of instant coffee for each room).

Finally, after resting and before dinner, we went on a boat ride! I can’t really remember the name of the boat service company (Palah does, so you guys can ask her) but it is situated not more than three shoplots away from our hotel. After our phone call, she came to pick us up right away and took us to the boat. Imagine, only four of us and the aunty and the boat driver and the aunty’s son. The boat ride cost us RM 80 but it is totally worth it. We get to see the fishing village in more details! The houses in each side of the village – the one by the river and the other side which is literally… houses on the river… like… floating).

Come the next day, we did not do much. We rested all morning and drove to Ipoh to visit our friend, Ika. She is teaching English at a centre there and we lepak-ed at Plan B, this high-end food chain from KL. I am so surprised to see how Ipoh has changed in some certain parts. People are trying to be more hipster (kinda like Penang) and that annoyed us a bit. Of course, the food, though, is still alright.

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Jeep and Fatin, possibly over-whelmed by the over-hipsterness of Ipoh…

Of course, we would not want to leave Ipoh without going to a museum. First, we went to the Darul Ridzuan Museum but left extremely disappointed as most sections of the museum were closed for renovation. Determined to never give up, we googled and finally found Ho Yan Hor Museum. The outer look of the museum is very pleasing – blue in colour and homey-like. We did not know what the museum exhibits but the staffs there are extremely hospitable and friendly. Ho Yan Hor is a really famous herbal tea brand in Malaysia created by a pharmacist/tabib/healer decades ago. Due to his hard work, he managed to spread the fame of the tea nation-wide.

After saying goodbye to Ika, we then returned, quite reluctantly, to Kuala Lumpur. The short trip to Perak was short indeed. But it was lovely as hell. So guys, if you are looking for a place to visit which does not require lots of planning or money to be spent, we think Kuala Sepetang is the place for you. If you have more days to spare, you can actually stop by many townships on your way there ie Kuala Kangsar and Teluk Intan as well. I’m sure they have lots of interesting things to offer there as well.

That’s all for now! Bye bye!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Getaway to Lukut, Port Dickson

by Ruby Gege

Here is how it started – one week ago, I blurted out to Palah that, “damn, I need a short getaway to someplace near. The long hours at work have been killing me and I just need to escape.” Two days later, Palah – being the efficient planner that she is – informed me that there are lots of cheap but good hotels around the Port Dickson area. I was surprised – “are we going this weekend?” I asked. “I was thinking about April or May.” Palah laughed at me, telling me that this weekend would be the best time. Unprepared yet excited, I obliged. Come Saturday morning (which was yesterday), Palah, Jeep, my little sister and I took off to Negri Sembilan in my brother’s Perodua Myvi.

It turned out that the amazing hotel we’ve booked, The Guest Hotel & Spa, is located in the area of Lukut, which is a small town a few kilometres from Port Dickson. So, you see, we did not actually spend our time in PD at all. Lukut, though quiet, is a lovely town – peaceful with quite a number of interesting places to visit. We can safely say that our 24 hours spent there has been unexpectedly pleasant. We thought we were going to spend our getaway hanging out by the seashore but we actually did not. We took a lot of much needed rest, visited museums and went to a cafe, of course. I myself drank countless cups of coffee. The only beach we went to is Bagan Pinang, which is quite a nice beach.

We also went to the Country Cat Cafe. Palah and Jeep really loved it there. Since I’m not into animals, haha, I won’t talk about it here. Do contact Palah for more details about the cafe.

Here is a brief overview of the places we went.

1- The Guest Hotel & Spa

 Palah told me that the hotel is of a 3.5 star standard. The service is good – we booked a family suite that can fit 4 people and even got coupons for breakfast though we did not pay for it through Expedia. The place is very clean overall – from the breakfast area, the room to the swimming pools. We spent many hours resting in our room, literally refusing to leave the place.

Another plus thing about the hotel is its location. Since it’s not situated at the heart of PD, it has lots of parking space and places to eat around it. So yeay for drivers who are lazy to look for parkings anywhere!

2 – Muzium & Kota Lukut

The first place we visited in Lukut is its Museum. We were a bit baffled when we saw the signboard for the place. Even though we considered ourselves to be museum junkies, we have literally never heard of this museum’s existence. We were so impressed with the museum! The exhibitions inside explain the history of Lukut – how it started off as a tin-mining area. The wealth of the place had caused many conflicts between the royal families led by one Raja Jumaat and his prince, Raja Bot and the miners. Apparently, lots of battles and bloodshed had happened here, which were unbeknownst to me and my friends. Yeay for museums for giving us extra historical knowledge!

The building is a beautiful fusion building of Colonial and Malay style. It is quite well-maintained (kudos to the curator for this!). The courtyard is damn huge but too bad the weather was unforgivably hot.

3 – Alive 3D Art Gallery

Our second visit to the 3D Gallery! The first one we went to is in Langkawi Island. The entrance fee is RM 20 per head. Even though the gallery in Lukut is smaller, we had more fun taking photos here as there were not many visitors. The best thing about it is that it is not more than 50 metres away from our hotel! We took our time, choosing our best poses and literally went all out! The paintings are mediocre, really, but for the sake of funny Instagram photos, who the hell cares! Some photos we took really turned out great!

 

4 – The Army Museum

On Sunday, after two hours of free breakfast and one hour of lounging around the swimming pool, we checked out of the hotel and drove to The Army Museum 10km away. Since I had been here around 6 years ago, I expected the visit to be quite meh. However, upon reaching the place, I was so shocked to see the new updates on the exhibitions. There were more impressive display – at the Malacca Sultanate section, they had a replica of a ship, A’Famosa and Stadhuys buildings. I was going ‘whoaaaah’ for the whole hour I was there. The part which we enjoyed most is the underground tunnel below the ground floor, which is meant to be a replica of a Communist Party hideout.

 

There are most pictures we have in our phones but putting them all here would be too messy. Do visit our Facebook page  – Ruby Jusoh or the Three Chinguz Facebook page if you want to see more pictures.

Overall, we had a great weekend getaway in Lukut. Even though we spent only about 24 hours there, we did more things than we could imagine, mainly because the area is a small town with substantial history. Now that we are back in KL, my friends and I are feeling the omens of returning to our ‘real life’ – the obligations of work, the responsibilities and facing up to life’s burdens. Ah, how we wish we could live by the seaside, enjoying the peacefulness of a small town, all day, everyday…

No. I am joking, of course. I’d die of boredom if that happens. Nonetheless, a short getaway is always necessary. As I mentioned before this, the chaotic lifestyle in KL drains your soul. An escape does not hurt and Lukut, Port Dickson is one of the place you can do it!

Nirvana In Fire/Lángyá Bǎng/琅琊榜 (2015) – C-Drama Review

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by Ruby Gege

Hello all! It has been a while since I last reviewed something here. Work (and laziness) have unfortunately been occupying most of my free time. Other than that, I am simply just a horrible human version of a seal, preferring to lie on my bed all day long instead of thinking hard about the quality of dramas and films I just watched. But then, a few weeks ago, I came across this Chinese drama called Lang Ya Bang or Nirvana In Fire and decided… hmmm this seems interesting. At this point, the whole international fandom was going crazy over this wuxia historical drama and I was like whatttttt???? Of course I had to check the drama out and hell yeah, I was not disappointed!

My review of this 54-episode drama can be summarized in the following hypothethical conversation I’d have with myself –

Me – Eh, so how’s Lang Ya Bang? Hao bu hao (good or not)?  

Me 2 – OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS DRAMA I CAN’T EVEN TALK PROPERLY THIS DRAMA IS LIKE SO FUCKING GREAT HELL IT IS SO DIFFERENT FROM OTHER DRAMAS I’VE WATCHED IT’S LIKE AMAZING SO AMAZING YOU’VE NEVER EVEN WATCHED SOMETHING SO AMAZING THE STORY THE CHARACTERS THEY ARE ALL AMAZING IT IS LIKE A RELIGION OH MY GOD I DON’T MIND WORSHIPING THIS DRAMA DAY IN AND DAY OUT OH MY GOD! 

Me – Are you crazy? *smug face*

Simply put, this drama is everything their fans, viewers and critics alike have made it out to be. It is one of the best Chinese dramas to ever been made.

Why? Ah… so many reasons, I am not even sure where to start. Let me just mention 2 reasons here – 1) the story and 2) the characters.

STORY – 

The premise of the story is of a young general of an army, Lin Shu, who survived a battle 12 years ago. After his whole clan and followers, the Chiyan army, were declared to be traitors of the kingdom and were massacred, he changed into a new identity, Mei Changsu and became the Chief of the Jiangzuo Alliance (some sort of a kungfu/warriors’ group or something). And during this 4th century China, apparently there was also a ranking system made by the distinguished Langya Hall – a think-tank that ranked all things important from wealth, intelligence and warrior skills. Our Mei Changsu here was given the title of the Divine Talent by the Langya Hall and was pursued by the Princes competing for the throne. However, when Mei Changsu entered the capital city using the name Su Zhe, he chose to serve the least powerful prince who was his best friend when he was little. The story revolves mainly around how he worked to increase the best friend’s influence in the imperial court and how he manipulated the factions of power around him in order to put his best friend on the throne.

CHARACTERS – 

Since the drama is also famous for having a shitload (and by shitload, I really mean shitload) of characters, I will only talk about the characters I feel most attached, in a good and bad way.

Lin Shu/Mei Changsu/Su Zhe

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The man here had 2 sides of him – the caring, kind Lin Shu and the brilliant, manipulative strategist that is Su Zhe. With people he trusted around him, he was their beloved leader and friend. However, as a strategist, he was damn cold and distant. The first twenty episodes will get you thinking – aiya, this guy so heartless one arr? Why you never think of other people’s feelings? But that is what makes his character to rationally brilliant. He entered the capital with only one goal in mind – to put his friend, Prince Jing on the throne and consequently clear his clan’s name. He had to cut ties and destroy lives in order to achieve what he wanted and that, he did ever so confidently. He is, by far, the only hero of all the dramas I’ve seen to be unaffected by sentiments and emotions. It is fun and fascinating to watch both sides of him and oh my God, Hu Ge’s portrayal of this character is awesome. He, as other people would say, lived and breathed Mei Changsu – from his style of walking, his words, his mannerism and his facial expressions. I literally felt that he carried the whole drama by himself. Can someone award this man with a Golden Globe, please?

Prince Jing, Xiao Jingyan

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He is one intense dude. Like, really really intense. In the beginning of the drama, Prince Jing was a military general not involved in the competition for the throne. His father, the Emperor disliked him for his bold and brave nature, especially when he chose to stand true to his belief that the Chiyan army and his brother, the late Prince Qi were innocent of the treason charge. With the help of Mei Changsu, he slowly rose to the ranks, eventually succeeding the throne. The relationship between Prince Jing and Su Zhe is the main focus of this drama. Unbeknown to him, his advisor, Su Zhe, who had been supporting him through thick and thin, was actually his best friend and cousin who had been declared dead years ago. Prince Jing as a character is fiercely loyal and righteous, too righteous for his own good, to be honest. Without Su Zhe restraining him, he would have not achieved half the things he accomplished.

Princess Mu Nihuang

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Representing the subtle romantic element in the drama is our Princess Nihuang, Lin Shu’s fiance and also the general of the Southern Army. Alongside Prince Jing, she was among the few who believed in the Chiyan’s army innocence. Nihuang, though a character of moderate importance, is awesome and I love love love her immensely. She is a high-ranked military personnel, powerful in her own right, fearless and extremely respected by the people in the capital. Similar to Su Zhe, we only get to see their softer sides when they were with each other, somehow becoming their younger betrothed selves. She was also one of the few persons (Prince Jing included) that could unnerve Su Zhe of his calm collected self. Several of their scenes had made me cry, especially the part where the Princess brought Su Zhe to Lin Shu’s old house just to test his reaction once she suspected his true identity. Even though I wished so badly for her to have more scenes in the drama, I do understand why the writer kept her the way she was. It made more sense, story-wise. In the end, though, she remained our main character’s true love and despite unable to be together, their relationship was one based on trust and unconditional support.

Yan Yujin and Xiao Jingrui

 

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Even though most fans went gaga and huha over the bromance between Mei Changsu and Prince Jing, it is the friendship between Yujin and Jingrui that I find to be able to relate most. The fact that their fathers belonged to different sides does not hinder their bond. Before all the crisis in the drama began, they were travelling buddies in the martial arts world and brought Mei Changsu into the capital. Their personalities differed so much – Jingrui was the goody-two-shoes, serious son while Yujin was the carefree cheerful one. They spent their days hanging around the capital, visiting their friends and celebrating life in general (this was before all the crisis happened, of course). Not to mention these two are the most consistently good characters from the beginning to the end. The one touching scene I remember most is when Jingrui was about to leave the city with his sister and Yujin chased after him with his horse, asking him to come back without even asking him why he was leaving like all best friends would do. Despite being side characters, I love watching their moments together compared to our main bromance couple, whose affections for each other are just too intense for me to handle. (Aiyo, will shippers of Prince Jing and Mei Changsu kill me for saying these? Haha)

Prince Yu, Xiao Jinghuan

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Among the many princes fighting for the throne (Prince Qi, the Crown Prince, Prince Yu and Prince Jing), I enjoyed the character of Prince Yu the most. He is multi-dimensional – evil yet rational, calculative yet intelligent. He does not push for the throne directly yet worked to amass support and build his network of power meticulously. Prince Yu felt like a dual-role for the actor, Victor Huang, whose performance was convincing. Prince Yu was charming and noble from the outside but merciless and cruel from the inside. It was his battle of wits with Mei Changsu that made me so attached to the drama – wanting to see how Mei Changsu would defeat Prince Yu’s incomparable influence in the royal court. A part of me did not want him to die – I would love to see how Prince Jing fight him once Mei Changsu is out of the picture. Sadly though, that is not going to happen. Isk, isk… Prince Yu.

The Emperor of Liang

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My favourite character in the whole drama is… unexpectedly… the Emperor himself. As the drama progressed, I found myself not being able to support or hate the Emperor in entirety. Is he kind? Yes, he can listen to reasons. Is he cruel? Yes, he sentences people to death very easily. Is he a good father? Yes, he awards his princes accordingly. Is he a bad father? Yes, he made his princes fight against each other. Is he a powerful ruler? Yes, he is extremely charismatic, energetic and clever. Why, then, everyone around the emperor viewed him as if he is the cruelest man on earth? He said it himself in the drama – because he is the emperor and being an emperor, people changes. Everything in the drama – every events, conflicts and achievements – all of those boiled down to one thing, that is appeasing the emperor. In the end, it is his word that mattered, his order to be followed and his graces to win. He was the root of all the problem (he ordered our hero’s clan to be executed) and he was also the solution for it (he ordered Prince Jing to re-investigate the case).

Consort Jing, mother of Prince Jing

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Mother of Prince Jing, Consort Jing had endured many years of being a low-ranked concubine. Like her son, she remained mostly ignored at the beginning of the drama, which seemed to be her strategy of survival in the royal court. Prior to being a concubine, Consort Jing was actually a female doctor. Even within the confines of the palace, she still practiced her medical skills regularly, studying herbs and medicines. Unlike her son, she is the epitome of grace and resilience. She never let her emotions defeat her and embraced every challenges and praises with calmness. The only time she ever cried was when she discovered Mei Changsu’s real identity (she was actually Lin Shu’s aunt). Despite her personality, she is a sharp woman, knowing how to detect traitors and spies in her palace.

CINEMATOGRAPHY 

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I know this is not one of the main point BUT Lang Ya Bang would have not succeeded without the supreme cinematography. Every angle and every shot made me feel like I was watching a wuxia film, only that it lasted for 54 hours. The crew must have put in a lot of thought and ideas behind each frame, for all of them seemed to be conveying a meaning – from the way Mei Changsu moved his fingers to the way the wind moves inside the palace area. Among the things to look out for  are any tea-related scenes. It seems that even people during 4th century China took their tea culture seriously. The way the hand moved the pot, the way they poured it to the way they drank it.

ALL IN ALL – 

Lang Ya Bang is a drama centred on human relationships, revenge, court intrigues and the fight for power. A lot of dramas had tried to use the same formula before but what set the drama apart is its brilliant execution. Anddddd the crew made the right decision not to drag any of the story-archs.The drama ended nicely at only 54 episodes (other wuxia/historical dramas usually got dragged until 80 to 100 episodes). However, be warned though, the mental exhaustion of watching Lang Ya Bang is real! It made you feel so many emotions, think and analyse so many conflicts and doubt your affections for every characters. Never had I experienced this as a drama-lover before since the 2011’s Empresses in the Palace. It took me a whole week of my Chinese New Year break to finish this drama, without any distraction and commitment. It almost felt, guys I am not joking, like a short-term marriage with this drama. Hahahahahahahaha…

Ola Bola (2016) – A local film we all can relate to.

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

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My Rating : 4/5

Kudos to the director, casts, staffs and all who were involved directly and indirectly in making this film. For me, though I found certain flaws in the acting but it is forgivable considering the theme of this film is peculiar and not similar at all with local films. Lately, racism has been a famous topic in Malaysia and it is repeated all over again by politicians, media and social networks. Using ‘you will believe again’ as the film’s trademark, one will not easily convinced to watching this right away. I was a bit skeptical but then I watched ‘The Journey’ film last year. It was an excellent film although it focused mainly on Malaysian Chinese Society. The director and script writer didn’t neglect the part that (as Malaysian) other races pretty much involved in our daily life. They (those irrelevant people) could argue that it’s not Malaysian film but for me, it pretty much is. Exploring how their society’s perception on inter racial marriage as a platform in the film works really well. So, what trigger me to watch Ola Bola (as I seldom watch local films unless it really is promising and brilliant at the same time) is this film shared the same director of ‘The Journey’ movie.

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Our National Football Team

It’s a about the journey of Malaysia’s National Football team in the year of 1980. This is inspired from true event. The intensifying journey of the team in qualifying the team into 1980 summer Olympics in Moscow, Russian is featured as a main story in the film. Why we need such film? That’s because we never had any film to reminisce us that we used to be incredible and fearless football team. We talked about ‘Malaysia Boleh’ but where it came from actually? This is one of the events that can take us back and recall that we are undefeatable as a team. This film did a lot for me personally. I don’t even know we beat Korea and our national team qualified to enter Olympics in 1980. I was ashamed for not knowing that. Maybe some of you felt that watching this film might not change anything; that once the film is over, we went back to our life and go on with our life. This is true but it does give me hope. Don’t you see? This film tried to revitalize the Malaysian spirit that ‘We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided’ as JK Rowling put it nicely. I watched this film last Saturday and the cinema was packed with people with different races and varied ages as well. It was such a heartwarming to see that many Malaysians felt the need to support our local films.

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The cinematography is gorgeous. It captured Malaysia really well. The script is not bad for a local film standard. There are a few lines which is corny and some sound forceful to make it echo unity and harmony but that’s just it. It was bearable and they didn’t overdo the script. The acting is not flawless (I have to be honest) there are certain weaknesses to it but I don’t really care for it. Not because the casts are attractive but most of them are not an actors. Some of them are football players turned amateur actors just for the sake of the films. For some people who loudly criticized that some of the actors in the film are ‘kayu’, you guys should give them a credit for trying. Most of you can even watch an unbearable local drama with irrelevant plot filled with talentless actress and actors, why feel the need to diss the film? This is pure gem compared to what you guys watch every day. Bront Palaree’s performance is brilliant. He carried his role as a sports commentator really well. The other actors like JC Chee, Luqman Hafidz, Saran Kumar Manokaran, Marianne Tan, Katrina Ho and Frankie Lee also not disappointing in portraying their characters.

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Bront Palarae portrayed the role of Sports commentator, Rahman.

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Saran Kumar Manokaran as ‘Muthu’

It touched a little bit personal struggle of the football players in their real life. The film is not 100 percent revolved around football or you silly American called it ‘Soccer’. Muthu is Portrayed by Saran Kumar Manokaran showed the struggle of being an eldest son in this family. His father wanted him to focus on helping the family. Being in a National Football Team back then and now is different. I read some interview given by the former national player saying that sometime they don’t even get paid and if they did, it is not as much as what the current player got now. Muthu is in a big dilemma; he wanted to quit the team to help his family but playing football is his passion as he stated ‘It’s the only thing that he knew’. JC Chee portayed as ‘Chow Kwok Keong or Tauke’ is the National Football Team Captain. He has been offered to play for a club in England but he refused to do so. He wanted to be champion in his own country. While we (as an audience) should laud his patriotism, his decision of not going causing his family especially his sister devastated. If he did go, he can easily earned money and help his family. He was also in torn of choosing to do what he believes in or helping his family. Maybe now we couldn’t feel the struggle but it is real as it can be back them.

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‘Tauke or Chow Kwok Keong’ Portrayed by JC Chee

I assure you that it’s not all sad and sappy in the film. Muthu’s younger brothers really incited non-stop laughter from the audience. They were very natural for child actors. Their foolishness and wickedness is refreshing in the film. Ong Thiam Cai or Ah Cai character is also unforgettable. He has been in National Football Team for 8 years but he entered the field to play not more than 5 times. He is quirky and skillful on the field but never been given a chance to show off his skill. He has been teased a lot by his team members but he laughed with them. This is a story comprised of the characters with diversified races and backgrounds. They are courage, gutsy and ‘nothing is impossible’ attitude. Along the way, some spirits might have been broken and shattered but they managed to get it together and rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

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The Characters in the film is inspired from true event.

Last but not least, watch it not because your friends recommend this film; watch it because you want to believe again.