This 1 hour TV programme was aired over TV3 tonight. Talk about brainwashing extreme.
Literally translated as “On A Beautiful Day”, it tells a tale of a few families here in Malaysia counting down to the Merdeka celebration in 1957 and 2007. The stories connect in one way or another (ala Babel or Vanilla Sky) and the gist of it is basically about racial harmony. It also talks about the hardships of achieving Merdeka as well as the consequences of being complacent.
Now I’m not one to belittle this momentus event but this show kinda over did it so I have to say my peace. Okay, it was produced (literally) by the ruling political party UMNO but I wished they didn’t treat us Malaysians like cavemen. The entire show was playing on sentiments. Sentiments which were too literal and obvious it made me feel stupid just looking at it.
Don’t get me wrong, aside from the all-too-direct storytelling and mediocre script, it was quite interesting to watch. The cinematography is nice with shots in sephia and black & white in abundance. Camera angles are also dramatic with moving subjects and interesting positioning in place. There were even some use of CGI to further ‘drown’ you in the Merdeka spirit.
That’s where it got tedious.
Ever heard of product placement in movies? Classic example:- FedEx in Cast Away. Well, this one had one too many Jalur Gemilangs. And the words Malaysia Gemilang. Not to mention Merdeka. And the script was so dry it sounded like it came from our primary school text books. Remember Raju, Ah Kau and Ali from BM class? Exacto.
Upon seeing the first few minutes, my first impression was Yasmin Ahmad could have been involved. Hmm.. somehow I don’t think she would approve! There was really no need to over impress the fact that we are a multi-racial country and needed to work together to achieve everlasting harmony. And to do it by comparing Aussie Dollar with Malaysian Ringgit? In Sydney? Come on, get real.
I’m sure there will be re-runs of this show sometime soon. I best not bad mouth it too much or else I’ll be accused of not being grateful with what our forefathers have done for us. Or I might get censored and sent to an ISA camp. So do watch it, if not for the entertainment value then simply as a citizen of planet Earth who wants to savour the Malaysian Merdeka celebrations. Peace.