- This is probably the first time that I didn’t yawn while watching a Malaysian film
- Lots of bizarre laughs to cover up the middling plot
MALAYSIAN film Gangster Celop is full of laughs, and they work on a certain level because writer-director Ahmad Idham embraces the film’s debasing qualities and is not afraid to display them prominently.
The film and title purport to be a gangster film, probably in a similar vein to director Syamsul Yusof’s KL Gangster. But one minute into it and you’ll enjoy Ahmad’s bizarre sense of humour.
The film definitely need lots of it because the plot is is middling. What’s so great about two gangster brothers who want to turn over a new leaf?
The film is full of unusual scenes. For example, the two gangsters, Adam (Syamsul) and Aman (Kamal Adli), fight a thug who pisses on them in a toilet, and then they both end up in urinals.
They also have to resort to disguising themselves as women, and in another scene, they hijack a small pink car with Hello Kitty figurines adorning the dashboard.
Further evidence of Ahmad’s wacky sense of humour is seen when he shows three godfathers, including a septuagenarian in a wheelchair attended to by a sexy nurse, discussing their next course of action. Suddenly, one of them breaks out into singing Zaiton Sameon’s famous’s song, Menaruh Harapan.
Even the thug, Man Cirit (Azad Jazmin), is dressed to be mocked. He wears all-red skintight clothes and speaks at 100 words per minute.
Ahmad saves the film by keeping it light and silly. Most Malaysian comedy films aren’t funny, but this film has a few decent laughs, and for probably the first time while watching a local film, I didn’t yawn.
Adam and Aman have just been released from jail after five years. They know that they’ve done bad things in the past and they want to make amends.
They return to their old boss, Ayahanda, or Mat Jambu (Yus Raja Lawak). Aman says: “I want work that will send me to the gates of heaven.”
Mat Jambu’s first order of duty for them is to pick up his lovely daughter, Suzanna (Hanis Zalikha), who is returning from abroad.
Aman wants to impress her, so he speaks in a funny Queen’s English to her. This is an example of when the film’s humour doesn’t work. People living in the country’s rice bowl will have no idea of what he is talking about.
Mat Jambu is killed after a meeting with Mat Cirit. The two brothers flee with Suzanna and end up staying in a fisherman’s house after saving him from being harassed by an Ah Long, who just happens to be Chinese. There’s only one Chinese character in this film and he turns out be the despised moneylender.
By the fisherman’s own admission, he is guilty for not paying back his debts promptly. The Ah Long returns again to demand payment, by which time the man sitting next to me says: “Celaka dia (damn him).” So much for propagating the 1Malaysia all-inclusive concept.
However, the fisherman drives a huge pickup truck (a Triton). How could he have afforded to buy this vehicle if he were severely in debt? Is Ahmad saying that fishermen waste their precious money on luxury items?
The Indians don’t get off easily, too. Ahmad stages a violent confrontation between two drivers whose cars are involved in a minor scrap. This scene is not needed in the film, but Ahmad gets excited seeing two Indian men bashing the other’s person vehicle with a bat.
Other than Chinese and Indians, whom else does Ahmad treat with kindness in this film? Ah yes, women. Hanis doesn’t do much in this film and she’s not central to anything in it. Furthermore, Man Cirit is seen with two women fawning over him.
Ahmad’s zany sense of humour just gets him over the finish line.
2 out of 5
What do you think? Please share your thoughts.