This festive season, let’s take the time to appreciate our local culture and artists who have produced some well-acclaimed films! We have put together a list of Malaysian movies that will evoke nostalgia and bring you to laughter or tears.
1. Talentime (2009)
Revolving around a scene of a high school talent competition, this touching yet witty musical portrays the spins of young love, heartbreak and hope. It was directed by the iconic Yasmin Ahmad which led to her receiving the ‘Best Director’ award in the 22nd Malaysian Film Festival in 2009. This feature film also happens to be her last as she passed on the same year.
If you aren’t familiar with this film, you must have at least heard or know the song ‘Pergi’ by Aizat Amdam which in the movie will be performed in English at the final scene. And spoiler alert… you will be needing a tissue at the end of the scene!
2. Do Re Mi (1966)
The Three Stooges is what comes to mind when you watch this movie. Directed and starred by our country’s pride, P.Ramlee, this 1966 masterpiece received a positive response which led to its sequels, Nasib Do Re Mi and Laksamana Do Re Mi, his last film.
Do Re Mi follows three main characters, Mas Do, Amore and Minami. Do plans a scheme along with his wife that goes horribly wrong and the outcome dreads to his divorce. While Re, the less intelligent of the bunch, were chased from home by his wife. Mi on the other hand has a brash attitude which makes him unbearable at any workplace. Still, the three distinct characters come together in quite the cinematic fashion to give you a laugh you can’t resist.
3. Pendekar Bujang Lapok (1959)
Pendekar Bujang Lapok was filmed in Singapore starring the legendary trio P. Ramlee, S. Shamsuddin and Aziz Sattaris whose names in the film (Ramli, Sudin and Aziz) are as close to their real names. The story moves along the theme of love and bravery. In the same year it was released, this film received Best Comedy Award in the 6th Asian Film Festival.
This film is packaged with a comedy treat and is perfect for a movie night with your family.
4. Puteri Gunung Ledang (2004)
Being the first big-budget Malaysian movie ever filmed, Puteri Gunung Ledang is a classic romance based on the Malay folk-tale starring the well-acclaimed Tiara Jacquelina and M. Nasir. It is a story about a princess who lives on top of Gunung Ledang and her forbidden love for a Melaka warrior, Hang Tuah.
Directed by Teong Hin Saw and being highly acclaimed, this romance cum fantasy film won five awards at the Malaysian Film Festival in 2004.
5. Sepet (2005)
In this rom-com, Sharifah Amani plays a Malay girl, Orked who finds herself in love with a Chinese boy Ah Loong or Jason as he calls himself. Their relationship begins with a meet-cute which then develops into a forbidden love journey considering the pressures of social standards and racial differences.
Directed by Yasmin Ahmad, this Malaysian film rose with international acclaim and won many awards, including Best Asian Film and Best Film in Tokyo International Film Festival and Malaysian Film Festival respectively. The film altogether gives you a fuzzy feeling and only leaves you content by the end of it.
6. Gol & Gincu (2005)
This Malaysian version of a chick-flick was directed by Bernard Chuah and starred by many famous artists including Fazura, Sazzy Falak and Ashraf Sinclair. The story depicts the life of young college students and their hope for hot romances. Putri, who loses her boyfriend Edy, tries to win him over by learning a sport he is into… futsal!
In 2018, the second volume of Gol & Gincu was released with another sassy plotline and new faces!
7. Mukhsin (2006)
Mukhsin is yet another film directed by Yasmin Ahmad which is the prequel to the film Sepet. This film gives the audience a new perspective as it follows the backstory of the main character, Orked, who now portrays the younger more-boyish side of herself. Filmed with a 1993 setting and vibe, 10-year-old Orked finds herself in love for the first time with a 12-year-old Mukhsin who comes to her village to spend the school holidays.
This film explores the ethos of the kampung life, the naive nature of first loves and family values. At the 57th Berlin International Film festival, the film Mukhsin was awarded the Grand Prix by the Kinderfilmfest International Jury and a Generation K-Plus Crystal Bear Special Mention.
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