Thursday, January 24, 2013

'Husin, Mon & Jin Pakai Toncit' Movie Review

1. Title : Husin, Mon & Jin Pakai Toncit
2. Release date : 7 February 2013 (Malaysia)
3. Director : Mamat Khalid 
4. Starring :
(Late) Zami Ismail
Man Kadir
Rashidi Ishak  
5. Language : Malay 
6. Genre : Comedy / Horror
7. Official Website : Jin Pakai Toncit

Banana Village (this is not the official translation, mind you) has found a new ghost story to talk about. Few years ago they were attacked by a bunch of fun loving, bike riding zombies. Years later, they were horrified by the return of Kak Limah (who was, at that time, presumed dead). Now, they have a 'Jin Pakai Toncit'. Such an entertaining village.

For those who haven't noticed, this time around, the villagers of Kampung Pisang are shocked by the news that one of their most famous bachelors, Husin (Awie) has gone missing. When they find that there is some kind of mysterious entity 'eating dinner' in his kitchen while he is not around, they declare that Husin has been 'abducted' - which is definitely my first guess. I mean, ideas like "Husin has been killed by the entity!", "Husin just went out for a while!", "Husin keeps a monster ('genie' sounds too cute) inside his house!", "Husin has turned into a hideous monster!" don't really pop, do they? Very symbolic, don't you think, Malaysians?

I see a combination here. Mamat Khalid tries his best to come out with a new story and a new set of punchlines in his jokes, at the same time he maintains the originality of his 'Zombie Kampung Pisang' and 'Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah' atmosphere. This means that the new audience can enjoy and learn a little bit of what has been happening in Kampung Pisang since the first series, while the die-hard fans can have some fresh moments from the latest installment. It's an idea that most directors would choose, but only a few of them would succeed. This time, Mamat Khalid isn't among them, unfortunately.

While some of his jokes can be considered fresh (and I'd like to mention again, very symbolic), most of them seem 'forced' and not related to the particular scene they are in. Please note that I am not implying that it is wrong to have a random joke, but when the same style is used repeatedly, it will lose its charm. Also, some of the characters are not really compatible with the 'nature' of Kampung Pisang - in other words, again, they are 'forced' to be in the movie. Perhaps this is an attempt to replace the missing characters (from the previous movies) but it doesn't work. These new characters, with the exception of Dr. Shamsudin (Rashidi Ishak), are too rigid that at first I thought they were 'designed' that way, but later it turns out that they just can't act. Full stop.

And, the most devastating part of all, is the story itself. Watching 'Husin, Mon & Jin Pakai Toncit' is like watching a cooking show where the cook tells the audience 'what' the ingredients are and in what 'order' they should put them in, but without any instruction as in 'how' to do it - which is, umm, the most important part of the show. The scenes in this movie are without any link, which means, even though the audience can still know what is going on, they may not be able to comprehend the manner and the significance of every scene they are watching. When a movie fails to make sense of its sequence of events, it fails in everything, generally. And please do not hope to be impressed by its CGI because it is a total facepalm. This is not 1980, guys.

With all the aforementioned details, all I can say is that... you can watch this movie for leisure, but I don't think it will give you the satisfaction you were hoping when you entered the cinema. The previous installments were way better. But I really hope I am wrong - especially if you focus on the 'underlying facts and today's reality' portrayed by Husin, Dr. Shamsudin and essentially, the villagers. 

After all, it is Mamat Khalid's forte - to hide a message or two in his movie.

Rating: 5.5/10


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