1. Title : Chow Kit The Movie
The movie has two parts, part 1 is a story about a group of kids who had to endure the harsh life of living in one of the most notorious places in KL, Chow Kit. Meanwhile part 2 focuses on the life of an ex gangster who now tries to turn over a new leaf but somehow is dragged in into the conflict of gangsters that are not seeing eye to eye due to territorial dispute.
There are not many movies that focus on Chow Kit and its surroundings so to have one right now is certainly something that is welcomed rather than recycling the same ol', same ol' ghost movies. The touch of having two parts actually is a two-edged sword as they are not directed by the same director thus while we can see some interesting differences in the way the stories develop, there are some disconnections between the movies. Of course, it would have been better if there are more events or characters that are related to each other between the two parts. We can only see this during the latter part of the part 1 and part 2 and that is also minimally done.
Some of the characters, while are quite interesting, some are quite dull and maybe could have been left out and it would not make that a huge impact on the movie. The child actors, while understandably quite stiff at times, we can see some could really express their emotion while acting like Muhamad Izzam Syafiq, who played the character of a prostitute's child. Being a teenager, the temptations while living in Chow Kit, having a mom who is a prostitute and not keeping his eyes to himself when his mom's 'colleague' came visiting, angry and dumbfounded finding out that his crush was raped, all of these are wonderfully portrayed by him. Another character that I find interesting must be the one portrayed by Namron. Namron being Namron, rarely disappoints me and in this movie his character is quite interesting as someone who is a drug addict yet loves his kids so much. The torn between choosing drugs and asking his kids to get some money so that they can get through another day still breathing is not only heart-wrenching but realizing that there is still some love towards his kids is certainly a sign of relief. Unfortunately, I am not so sure about the character who saves kids from houses as that is really negligible and no dire need of having those scene in the movie. It is almost the same case with the character by Dira Abu Zahar, who is an ex prostitute. Though she helps her friend while her friend is being raped (Yes, while her friend being raped) by distracting one of the rapists, there is nothing much else about the character. It is quite a pity as more could have been said about her in the movie rather than putting her aside for the rest of the movie.
I am not very sure why, but the connection between the two parts must be about the rape scenes. Both have rape scenes and I do not really understand the obsession with rape scenes in the movie. Maybe because some newspapers put up some 18sx pictures on their front page. By the way, let's get back to the movie, the rape scenes, while it is quite sad to see that they are raped by sadistic men, I wonder where did the characters get the strength and beliefs to bounce back so quickly. I mean, you were raped and few days later you acted as if nothing had happened. Most probably the movie is trying to portray those around Chow Kit as real fighters and not succumbing to the act of few horny and merciless men.
The movie is quite straight forward and you do not need to think too much to understand it. The cinematography is nothing earth-shattering though it plays around with colour tones to add to the sad mood of the movie. Yes, it is a movie that is quite sad actually, except than few scenes that are a bit light and are able to make you smile or laugh for a while before another sad scene comes in.
I have no idea what the movie is about before I stepped in into the cinema. Not knowing what to expect from a movie that has kids as actors and pretty faces which I assumed just to help to sell the movie, I came out quite surprised. It is something new that did not disappoint me and it was certainly a pleasant surprise.
Rating : 7/10