Writer: Dzamira DzafriWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"KL Gangster" & "Juvana"
Judging only by the publicity poster, it looked like a cliche olden day gangster movie, and it was terrifying thinking that the whole movie was going to be the two main characters in the same get-up in the whole film. Luckily, they only wore it in the flashbacks, and it was supposed to be comedic.
It was pleasing to see that it was set in our modern times, and it did not take the low-budget comedic route where the production sets looked unimpressive. Instead, this film had great scenes that didn't just depend on how funny it would be to the audience if they made their sets look cheap. They made an effort with the cinematography and it worked really well with the film.
Understanding how our local films don't have as much of a budget as "Avatar", it may be argued that it shouldn't be right talking about how cheap costumes and sets would look, but judging by how most local films think to cover up poor budget, they shouldn't just be looking into comedy. It shouldn't be acceptable to use comedy as a replacement for poor sets and costumes. "Gangster Celop" had understood this perfectly, and it should be applauded because of this.
Instead, they used a decent script and some good actors for a few roles to establish comedy, and it is admitted that there were some good moments where you would burst out laughing.
What made the movie were the actors in the film. Kamal Adli played the younger of the two gangster brothers called Aman, and he was the best actor out of the two main guys. Of course, the brothers' chemistry was great when they were both on screen, but when it came to separate scenes, Kamal Adli shone brighter. Even so, the two brothers were entertaining to watch.
The other outstanding actor was the guy who played the dastardly Mat Cirit. Actor Azad Jazmin was phenomenal as the villain, and you constantly waited for the next moment he might show up on screen. He wasn't just comedic, he captivated audiences with his performance, and he would be the only reason for you to see it again.
There were some other great comedic performances like Lan Pet Pet, Usop Wilcha and Yus Jambu from the "Raja Lawak" competition. The only scene Lan Pet Pet is bound to make the toughest guy smirk a little, at least.
With the great performances, there were also some poor ones. It isn't understandable why Hanis Zalikha was cast, besides the pretty face. She was mediocre at the least, with quite the major role and so much screen time for someone so inexperienced. Actor Shamsul Yusof, who played the other half of the brothers wasn't bad at all, but probably compared to the other actors, we was outshined. Though he was very hands-on when it came to stunts, and he was really good at them.
In terms of its plot, it's refreshing to finally see a storyline that is entertaining. Director Ahmad Idham weaves the story well, but it felt like some of the scenes were unnecessarily long and exuded vibes where it was trying too hard to be funny. When it came to the action sequences it is a whole other story, as they seemed too short in length and really could've used more fight scenes.
The particular part of the plot where the brothers needed to take care of their boss's daughter (a.k.a. Hanis Zalikha's character, Suzanna) seemed a little like they only added it in to have a female lead. It is great to have that as a factor in the film and not just give all the lead roles to males, but it felt unnatural and it shouldn't be, because the idea itself is great, as not many female leads are cast in action films, even in Hollywood.
"Gangster Celop" is far from a cliche gangster film. It has serious themes that will also touch your heart and surprise you, but it still isn't a memorable film to watch more than once. Watch it if you're into comedy with a little kick into it, and for some good comedic performances done by our local talents. Also, try to ignore the shaky camera pan in some of the scenes and you'll be fine.Cinema Online, 14 February 2013