Friday, April 27, 2007

Susuk Lagi

Dan and I raced against time to watch Susuk yesterday. We went to MidValley after work to buy Umar’s tennis stuffs. Came home and after Isyak went to Nasi King and ordered food. We then went to Kamalia and Sheik’s house to get the stuffs I pesan from Padang. Then went back to Nasi King for the food. I raced upstairs to our room, dragging our sleeping son while Dan went to the kitchen to get cutleries, bowls and drinks. When he entered the room, Susuk started. Phew !! Just in time. We plonked ourselves in front of the telly to view a very disappointing episode.

All the effort for naught. Zilch.

When we were at Kamalia’s house, I went up alone as Umar was already sleeping in the car and Elsa was not yet home ( anak dara si Rashdan tu balik pukul 10 malam ). My hair stood on its ends while waiting for the lift and while I was on the lift. As soon as Kamalia opened her door, I was so relieved, I bounded in happily. I immediately told them about ‘Jangan Pandang Belakang’ effect.

Ayesha was so cute, she asked her Mama “ Mana anaknya ? “ He he. I told her “ Anaknya tidur dalam kete jadi bapaknya teman.” Kamalia bought me the nicest kebaya. Thanks Ya. But I couldn’t stay long because it was 20 minutes to Susuk.

What lah. Why is there no continuity ? Why is everything so unbelievable ? Why is the directing and the acting so unconvincing ? The best acting I have to give to the dukun. I should have stayed and have more tea with my friend and inspect the lovely telekung she bought from there. Very nice, very pretty.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Movie Review : Jangan Pandang Belakang

I am reviewing Jangan Pandang Belakang. It is a much hyped about movie, with rave reviews and high praises. I though put it in the middle of good and predictable. It is totally expected and unexpected at the same time. It was scary and the sound effect was excellent. It was different from the normal Malay movie but somehow very much the same. It left me this feeling of an unfinished story and I regret how easy it was to get rid of the unholy entity.

Pierre Andre played the hero who lost his fiancée, due to accidental suicide. She foolishly picked up a bottle she found on the beach, took it home and from then on her nightmare started. After her death, Pierre ( or Dharma – what a ridiculous name ) went to her apartment with her twin sister ( who had the good grace for being identical ) and found the cursed bottle. He then pocketed it, took it home too and thus sealing his fate.

He went back home to his kampong to rid of the disturbance ( which turned out to be my kampong, Batu Gajah, Perak… waa…. Susah lah nak balik sekarang ) and surprise, surprise, he actually collected his late grandfather’s hantu.

Okay, to their credit, it is rather good and seram. Scenes like the hantu trailing his car from behind, sitting on the roof of his car, him picking up his Opah whom he found squatting on the floor, hungrily shoveling food and when he picked her up to put her to bed he found she was already soundly asleep and * gasp * his horror when he realized that and was too scared to look at what he was carrying in his arms ( it made me think hadn’t this guy heard any ghost stories in his youth ? That scene is a classic hantu scene that if I ever see my grandma crouching like that I would have legged it in a second ) was good. Numerous scenes were good actually, but when things have calmed down ( for me at least and that meant being at home and waking up in the morning ) and you start to reflect, you feel sadly unsatisfied and empty.

For one, the lack of sadness and shock of his fiancee’s sudden demise. Not just from him but her twin sister who seemed too cool and collected even after such a catastrophe event. I mean, suicide !! That is sooo terrible. Probably some time should have been allocated for that, to show them bawling their eyes out or something like that. However maybe because they were thrown the hantu angle very much soon after her death could be the reason why they couldn’t grieve properly. Well maybe. But when he went home to his family, no word of condolence or empathy came from his aunt and cousin. Like her death ( or even his engagement ) was not a known fact. To me there was no continuity.

Then he keeps returning to his house even after all the sightings and the voices that he heard. If it was me, I would have packed my bags and camped at my friend’s living room. I also feel the way they stumble on the existance of the hantu was not properly thought of. It was not that beleiavble and again, the proper reaction was missing.

Apart from that, the Pak Imam’s exorcism was too easy. I anticipated more resistance and seriously, something akin to head rotating 360°, you know …. the works. I expected at least 2 nights of orang kampong keeping vigil at his side or something like that. Basically, I want more action. It is like watching Die Hard minus the body counts.

And this complain comes from my mother. Since the kampong is in Perak so of course his family speaks in Perak dialect. Khatijah Tan’s was believable and had us thinking that she is a Perakian after all. Mak Mah’s ( Rosminah Sidek ) attempt was laudable but a few words here and there made it quite unconvincing and the lilt was just not fully there. Like when she asked for water, she said air when it is ayor to them. My mom who left her native Perak at a young age says air but my Wan still says ayor.

And here comes the boring part. I blame Ju-On for this. To me, after that film, most of the hantus in the world found it hard to float or walk anymore. They prefer crawling or slithering on the floor nowadays. It is like a trend.

What are welcomed though were the hilarious scenes. Cat Farish was good albeit a very short appearance. I also love the scene where Opah invited the hantu to enter the house. Dharma had just arrived at his family abode and Opah peered outside. She admonished her grandson for not inviting his friend inside. She then said “ Buruk bebenor ropanya kawan kamu tu. Rambut nya tak terurus…. “ or something of that effect. There was one scene when she screamed because Dharma’s ‘friend’ slept with her and was pushing her off the bed !!

Whatever it is, it is better than any other hantu movies that have been released in our mother tongue. Better than cerita Hantu Jepun and better than Kuntilanak that Amelia and I saw ( I am not gonna compare it to Pontianak Harum S***** Malam since the director is now my sister’s aunt ). It is a good effort but somehow looked hurriedly done. It lacks attention to detail, which is what Hollywood movie is very famous for.

But.... and there is this but, I will think twice before I pandang belakang now. Well at least for a few weeks.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Emak yang tak boleh tengok cerita hantu

Yesterday was the first episode of Susuk on TV3. It was okay and quite scary by my standard ( and I have to tell you my scare threshold is very, very low. This is the girl who got scared watching Pontianak Harum S***** Malam the first time. The second time dah pandai sikit dah… ), so much so it … well, here is the story;

Umar was already sleeping when Susuk ended and as usual Elsa was still wide-eyed and very much on the go. Dan lifted Umar to his bed and I prepared Elsa for hers and since Umar was already off to Slumberland, allowed Elsa to watch her cd ( Barbie ).

My eyelids got heavy 10 minutes after House started and I was jolted from my slumber while House was still on. It was the sound of the door what woke me. I couldn’t identify which door or why it was doing that but it was the door nonetheless. Then I looked at the direction of my children’s room. It was pitch dark. I was shocked to my bones.

“ Dan, Elsa Dan…, “

“ Hummpphh………………. “

“ Where is she ? The room is dark … “

“ Hummpphh……… “

“ Dan, mana dia ? “

“ Ada dalam bilik lah…. “

I was not satisfied, threw all caution and fear and walked towards my children’s bedroom. I switched on the lights and there was my daughter, looking up the ceiling, foot waving on air.

“ Elsa what are you doing ? “

“ Hai Mum… “

“ What are you doing ? “

“ I am bored…. “

“ You tutup telly ke ? “

“ Yes… It’s boring, “

I looked at her. She looked at me. Then she said, “ Good night Mum, “ and I obediently switched off the lights again and retired to my room. I lay down beside my husband and waited for sleep to welcome me. It didn’t because of the stupid door. Again I reached for my husband.
“ Which door is it ? “

“ I don’t know… “

I tossed and turned and finally he got up and checked the bathroom door. Because the bathroom door is directly in front of the little window of the said bathroom, the extremely strong wind from outside was pushing it over and over again. That produced the sound.

We slept with the door opened.

The end.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Myra's Book Review

Let me tell you about 2 books that I read.

First, Never Let Me go by Kazuo Ishiguro. This is the guy who brought us the wonderful Remains of The Day and When We Were Orphans. Now, how can I describe the book ? It is very chilling and haunting without any presence of ghosts in it at all. From the first few chapters, you would be left wondering about what they were talking about and you will be so intrigued that you have to plough on. Then you will feel very much unsettled that you have butterflies in your stomach but you interest have definitely been piqued that you could not put it down. Then you sort of could guess what was going on but still very unsure before the hard truth dawns on you. When it did, you will feel the chills to your bones.

Then came the sadness and the few tears and then the hope ( you will know the hope is fruitless ) that Katherine will be spared from the madness. When you finished, I bet you will log on the net in your attempt to find out if Mr Ishiguro was making it all up. For me, I was determined to proof that it was definitely just his imagination….. Please….

Read.. my dear friends… read this. I am more than willing to lend you the book, as I am very eager to hear another opinion….

The second book I read was SUSUK, by a Malaysian author. I bought it in a bid to support Malaysian writers and because I saw the iklan many, many times on tv. Apparently, they have turned it into a movie or tv series… I am not sure. Anyway, the English was good enough and I was quite enjoying the way he writes… but the jalan cerita…. Hmm…. Very confusing. At the end of the day, you were left wondering, sapa yang ada taik lalat kat bibiaq ni ? Si Suzana ke Soraya nya ? Lepas tu, hidup ke lagi minah tu ? What happened sebenarnya ? What has that got to do with Mona ? And then who is the dark-skinned man ?

I don’t want to read it again. So I suppose I have to get my closure by watching it on the telly. My problem is… well I am not very good keeping dates with my telly. NCIS, CSI … my favourite shows pun selalu miss. Grey’s Anatomy which I dearly love pun I don’t even know what day and time it comes out… not even which channel…. Ini lagi lah….

So… I have to read it again ke ? Tak nak …..

I will buy Adibah Amin’s In Passing next.


PS : Kamalia, lupa nak habaq that you can pinjam CD Cinta tu. Bila ndak habaq mai na….

Friday, April 13, 2007

My 14th Anniversary

Today is our 14th anniversary. Yesterday my husband looked at me and said “ Do you know that I have spent half of my life with you ? “ I looked at him, wondering if he was complaining. But being my best friend for 14 years he could read me like a book. “ Take that as a compliment. I have no regrets… “.

True, I have no regrets ( so far ) too. He has proved to be a wonderful husband, a loving father and a considerate son and brother-in-law. Of course he make mistakes but his magnificence is truly greater. It is easy to take care of him as he is not demanding. I always have to offer him services like drinks or if he wants me to iron his shirts, as he would usually does it by himself. When the lazy bug bites yes he would call me but in our 8 years of marriage, the occasions are so few, they are negligable.

One of the things that I admire about him is his patience and boy do you need a lot of that when you live with me ( ask my parents and my siblings ).He is very generous, catering to my whims and fancies, so much so that I would be shocked if he says no. Seriously.

What I love about him most, coming from a person who loves her family so much, is how much he helps me in that endeavour. He never complains. He understands that I need my family and how I am always worried about then.
Thank you Dan....

Happy Anniversary Darling…

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Movie Review

We have been going to the movies for 2 consecutive weekends. Two weeks ago we went to see Meet The Robinsons and last week we went to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Meet The Robinsons would pull your heart’s strings. It is about the importance of family ( usual Disney theme ) and of course about friendship. It is also about how it is okay to dream ( as it could be a reality ) and do not despair and give up if things look bleak… try and try to change your life. Also most importantly, do not hold grudges. At the end of the movie, Dan and I exchanged looks that said it all.

It taught me to support my children’s creativity. If we have the resources then why not try to indulge them ? I was cooking yesterday and the wet kitchen faces tennis courts of the condos behind us. There were 2 girls playing tennis with either their coach or dad. Boy were they good and I especially admired their strength. As I was watching them ( while keeping an eye on the fried chicken ) Umar suddenly said that he wants to learn how to be a good tennis player. Usually I would reply with “we’ll see” or “why ?” but this time I told him, “Okay, it could be arranged.”

Well why not ? Maybe his interest will only last until the chicken stool retains its warmth ( read in Malay as hangat2 taik ayam ), but at least it is something that he should explore and figure out if it could be of serious interest. I mean, what do I have to loose ? Weekend afternoon naps ? Negligable ( warghh !!!!! ).

The TMNT was fun. Especially when I read the Malay alih bahasa as Remaja Mutasi Ninja Penyu, I had glimpsed what a fun movie it would be ( really I got all that just from reading the alih bahasa ).The dialogue was witty, the animation ( or whatever that computer generated movie type is called ) was good, it was action packed.. well.. fun !! It taught we that boy are turtles fun !! ( and since when Shredder died ? )

Do I have to learn something every time I go to the movies ?. It did however evoked warm memories of sitting with my mouth open with my siblings, absorbing those green creatures’ ninja moves, deciding which one I could actually use to hurt and maim my adik beradik. Hey, I did learn something from watching TMNT !!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Jumping on the train tracks

Today the papers reported an incident where Putra LRT’s services were halted because someone jumped on the tracks. She apparently was accidentally left behind by her employer and leaped on the tracks to chase after the train her employer was in. Right…. She is safe so therefore it is okay for me to laugh. HA HA HA.

This episode however reminded me of our own experience involving fast train and train tracks. My mom, my sister and myself were in London. We were waiting for the tube at Leicester Square after visiting my Opah who lives off Carnaby Street. As were waiting on the crowded platform, the unthinkable happened. An elderly lady fell on the tracks. I saw her when she was falling. She just toppled over. Like she was dizzy or something and fell with a sickening thud.

Immediately there was uproar. I saw people urging her to get up. In my head I could still see this blonde lady with dark brown coat screaming for her to get up. The look of desperation and concern was deeply shown on her face. Then we heard the train. Things went noisier with the sound of the train and people screaming for help.

We were actually at the very end of the platform and had our backs to the wall. My mom… well here is the funny part. She started to say, “ Close your eyes ! Close your eyes ! “ before adding “ I don’t want to look… “ and pressed her eyes tightly shut. In my head I was thinking “ That is sooo weird, “. I know that we are in London but it is strange for my mom to speak in English. Don’t get me wrong, my mother’s English is very good, but I was expecting her to speak in our mother tongue. I was expecting her to speak in her local Perak dialect actually, “ Tutup mate kamu. Tak usah kamu nengoknye “ and then ended it with “ Teman idak le ndak menengok… “ In a panic state, surely you would speak in the language that you are most comfortable with. Surely…

Anyway, the train halted to a stop about 2 feet away from her. Then it went very quiet and very still. I could still the train driver’s shocked face and our disbelief that it actually managed to stop. Then, from the left, I noticed some movement. A very tall guy suddenly walked and jumped on the tracks to retrieve to old lady. My sister and I at that time agreed with plenty of sighs ( me while rocking my baby Umar )… what a hero.

We walked on jelly legs for the rest of the trip and avoided the tube like a plague. Luckily London is such a pedestrian friendly city that we were not much inconvenienced.

Going back to my mom’s language mystery, Ben a good friend of mine during university years once asked me in which language do I think with ? Do I think in Malay or English ? Hmmm….. good question Ben…