Friday, December 26, 2008


If Malaysian Film Producers Association had its way, Malaysian cinemagoers will have to pay more to watch Hollywood movies. Apparently the Association would soon submit this proposal to the National Film Development Corporation. According to the Association’s president only by hiking the admission fees for Hollywood movies from RM9 and RM12 to RM20 will it make Malaysian’s watch local movies such as Cicakman instead of Batman !. Also, according to the Association’s president, some of the locally made movies are on par with foreign movies in terms of quality. Really? Typically Malaysian isn’t it, when you cannot compete, devise desperate schemes in your favour.

The Association presupposes that the audience for Malay movies and Hollywood movies are the same. Let’s get real here. Malay language movies are produced for the Malay market with storylines and themes evolving around Malay norms, Malay issues, Malay culture and even set in Malay surroundings. No surprise that the moviegoers for these movies are exclusively Malays. In any event, with such settings and themes, does the local movie producers really and honestly expect Non Malays to flock and watch local Malay movies. It does not resonate with the Non Malays. Also, many locally produced Malay movies often have poor and tired storyline. Have you watched the locally produced Antoo Fighters. It is a ridiculous crap. Sometimes, the movie producers try to sell movies with preety faces who sadly, save for the preety looks cannot act for peanuts. Hollywood movies on the other hand, targets a universal and have in mind a cross section audience.

For me, save for Yasmin Ahmad whose movies have good storylines or even U-Wei’s intellegent and provocative movies, most local movies standards fall short. I cannot imagine Non Malays being attracted to local movies or for the matter I do not know of one particular Malay movie which had attracted Non Malay moviegoers in droves.

So perhaps the Association and the National Film Development Corporation ought to know that hiking the tickets for Hollywood movies to RM20 would not make movie goers watch local movies nor is the solution. In fact such a move would only benefit pirate DVD sellers and also bring down the cinema industry which is now enjoying a revival. Despite the strangelhold and attraction of Hollywood movies, the local movie industry have not performed that bad, Last year, local producers made RM29 million and for the first nine months of this year, local producers raked in almost RM35 million.

Local producers should find out how producers in other countries like Iran or even Indonesia can make movies which are really apealing and not to mention world class. When the Indonesian movie Debu-Debu Cinta opened in Singapore, even Non Malays went to watch it. What was so appealing about the film? Answer-the theme and superb acting. Also, it must be remembered that P.Ramlee movies till today, still has a strong following within the Non-Malay community. I myself have repeatedly watched almost all of P. Ramlee’s movies.

Just because Antoo Fighters, Cicakman 2, and Planet Hitam failed to score with movie goers, local producers to save themselves ought not to think of schemes to curtail Hollywood movies or suggest desperate and punitive measures against cinemagoers. In fact, increasing movies tickets to RM20 could result in cinemagoers giving locally produced movies a complete miss and instead save and use the money and watch Hollywood movies.

No comments:

Post a Comment