Cuak the Movie : Review

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It was my first premier to a movie and Tony Pietra, one of five directors who invited me, in which i turned down so many times because I am an unknown in this industry and I as one person believe makes a difference in their gross sales to help a friend. Even as an independent movie, my girlfriend said things like “this opportunity doesn’t come often”. So i took the offer after I took the job to edit and help Tony on the music video for the movie. So Tony Peitra is a dear close friend of mine, but that doesn’t mean I’m biased about the movie.

Cuak is a very honest film and took a punch to my gut from just some of the dialogue by the actors. Adam played by Ghafir Akbar and Brenda played Dawn Cheong sold to me as a couple. They we’re exceptionally great during Shamaine Othman’s segment (The Couple). The way the argue over the simplest things to their beliefs and disbelief reminded me of my own relationship and during the segment I couldn’t help but to look over my shoulder to look and my girlfriend and relate it into our relationship. Even so alot of reviewers are going about Tony’s segment (Issues) is the fish out of water of the film, I have to admit it deserve to be stand alone. The neo-noir themed segment was beautifully shot and some of the lighting is just breathtaking for an independent film. Dawn was also very well showcased in this compared to the other 3 segments (minus Shamaine’s The Couple).

Cinematography of the other segments didn’t awe me as much as Issues did but they were strong nonetheless.  Lim Benji’s “Break Up” is a found footage sort of segment where I cringed a little about the cinematography. As realistically thinking, who in the world would still record himself going through break up, but Ghafir and Ani Juliana Ibrahim (Adam’s Ex) made up for it as they pull rabbits out their hats with believable fights with one another and again reflecting myself during an immature line by Ghafir.

This is coming from a fan boy of “Ciplak” which Khairil M Bahar directed. I like his comedy writing in his segment “Bachelor Party” and also love Manesh Nesaratnam’s “In Laws”. The way Khai puts his comedy subtly with Adam having the cold feet or “cuak” with commitment issues and being afraid of changes. Manesh’s segment was the over the top and funniest which had me rolling around my feet during some scenes.

With five different directors could sounds like chaos or it could be “Cuak”. It was well done with such a talented cast and writers. There was a few hiccups here and there but due to the duration of the film for five directors I would understand. Imagine giving 2 hours each for every director of this film, they will do wonders and make our film industry proud. I highly recommend this film for every one to see at least once. It’s as good as “Sepet” without the controversy but not as good as “Ciplak” and now I’m biased

Johariz M.Sani

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