Pada Suatu Cinta Dahulu … High school high jinks

  • High school never looked this bad before
  • Non-Malays don’t exist in KL, according to this sleep-inducing film 

PADA Suatu Cinta Dahulu is Metrowealth’s 77th film, which is a big deal for it, but for moviegoers, it means a chance to have slept in cinemas for 77 times. I yawned 20 times while watching this film. I’m not kidding you. After the film ended, I had to stare into space for a few minutes to clear my mind.

As I write this review, I still don’t see the need for Metrowealth to have made this film. What’s the purpose? It doesn’t have a social message. The only message I saw was that Chinese and Indians don’t exist in national public schools (sekolah menengah kebangsaan) in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of multiracial Malaysia.

Was this supposed to have been a date movie? If you date likes this film, dump him. If you like it, then you’ll probably like Hantu Kak Limah 2, which means there is no hope for you.

(From left) Wawa Zainal, Nizam Zaidi and Zalif Sidek are concerned about social issues of the day.

Intan Ladyana is 31 years old, but the film and her believe that they can dupe audiences into accepting her playing the part of a secondary (high) school student.

In fact, most of the actors in this high school romantic comedy are too old to play students. There’s no way audiences will believe their characters.

The jokes are sparse and silly, the acting in nondescript, the dialogue makes you drowsy and it’ll take a huge suspension of disbelief in viewers to accept that a rowdy high school student falls in love with a girl in only one week.

At the start of the film, Zainal (Pierre Andre) talks to a female psychiatrist and tells her of the embarrassment of toiling at home while his corporate wife takes it easy. He feels small because he drives a Kancil and she has a big car.

He said things were different in high school 17 years ago. Oh no, I thought, another tale of the slighted male ego.

Yeah, laugh all you want, but wait till you see the reviews of the film.

Zainal (now played by Nizam Zaidi) is an undisciplined student. He and his friends intimidate other students and get into fights with them. When he thinks that Rudy (Zalif Sidek) is making moves on his girlfriend, Nora (Wawa Zainal), he pours red paint over him outside school.

He’s suspended from school for one week, which he accepts with delight, and he takes the opportunity to goof around with his friends and go fishing in a dirty lake. He then bumps into pretty Azura (Intan) at a cendol stall outside the old Federal Cinema in Chow Kit.

Sparks fly between the two of them and Zainal is smitten by her, who says that she, too, has been suspended from another school.

Nizam and Intan Ladyana roam around 1996 KL, which looks like 2013 KL.

There’s no mention of his parents during this one week. How he deceives them into thinking that he goes to school is forgotten. He and Azura also show no interest in studying.

The film is absorbed in the high jinks of Zainal’s clique. The teasing, bullying and fights are supposed to represent typical high school behaviour, but they’re just boring in this film. No wonder the disciplinary teacher has his hands full whacking the students.

To get more laughs, the film gets the overweight Zalif to reveal his manboobs and fleshy tummy. Zalif dives into this task with zeal.

They fight more than they study in this film.

The film’s depiction of 1996 is non-existent, except for the old cinema and the appearance of a minibus. The clothes and hairstyles from that era are from 2013.

As I mentioned above, this film is practically devoid of non-Malays. The school in KL does not have a single non-Malay. The film’s sole minority is the Indian man selling cendol, and he’s portrayed as a buffoon.

1 out of 5

What do you think? Please share your thoughts.






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About jeff

Malaysia is my home, Writing is my background, Photography is my hobby, Movies are my passion, And Man Utd is my life. I cover movies made in Malaysia and Singapore fervently. This is probably the only blog in Malaysia that regularly reviews English, Malay, Chinese and Indian films.
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One Response to Pada Suatu Cinta Dahulu … High school high jinks

  1. Amie Zack says:

    I was about to watch the movie before one of the links led me to your review. I bet it’s more interesting reading this review than watching the actual film. Thanks for saving me from what would otherwise be wasted two hours of my life.

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