Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Squeezing the sponge

The good ol' sponge has an amazing ability to hold liquid many times its own weight. But there's a threshold of what might come out when you squeeze the life out of one. This much can be said of the local film and television dramas.

From a recent article in a local newspaper and also box office reports, our local films suffered ridiculously poor box office collections. Reports of RM150K-500K collection at the box office versus the investment of RM800K-RM1.5 million. That kinda figure will definitely make many an accountant cringe with fear!

What is happening to our local film industry is akin to the sponge. The love stories (tragic or the usual rom-com variety) that the Malay movie industry so vehemently squeeze out hoping to make a buck has reached a point of no return...literally. Their ideas have run dry, the juices have stopped flowing, everybody is copying one another to produce the same thing and the buck definitely stopped there.

How long more will it take for our producers to wake up to the fact that they can no longer pander us by packaging rubbish with trimmings and make us part with our money? When will someone step up and start a Malay film revolution? When will artistes learn that they need to work harder on being one and not rely on good looks alone?

The producers claim that THAT'S what the Malay audience want for entertainment. By THAT I mean the rubbish they dish out disguising as the Malay audiences' wish. I definitely doubt that's true. If not for the sake of variety, I think the Malay audience wants originality and gripping story-telling. A trip to the theatre or switching on the telly nowadays makes them reminisce the good old days of watching RTM shows. Boring and bland...

A brief note to the producers : Pretty faces no longer has that strong an appeal, strong ideas do. There's more to love stories. And if you decide to do a love story, do it well, with a twist and making it fresh.

Long I wait till that stupid sponge will dry out eventually...which is pretty soon. Then we all can look forward to something better...for the sake of the minds of the Malaysian audiences.

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