Tuesday, April 25, 2006

(R) GUBRA's Duet

A dance for two, GUBRA’s choreography pairs two parallel worlds as they waltz to interracial, religious, and (extra) marital tunes.

GUBRA is Yasmin Ahmad’s 3rd feature film after RABUN and (the more successful) SEPET.

In GURBA, one story continues from SEPET. Now, Orked (Sharifah Amani Yahya) is a young, upper middle-class working woman married to Arif (Adlin Aman Ramlie), a successful advertising executive who is considerably older than her. Here, Orked who looks way below the legal age gets away with doing things married people do, and exudes unrealistic maturity in emotionally manipulating ‘the other woman’ in her husband’s life.

She meets Alan (Alan), her ex’s brother. In a Veet endorsed scene, currents flow between the two as she plucks hair off his chest while making conversation. But this is less pretentious than the nauseating ‘I support bangsa Malaysia’ conversation in Alan’s cute yellow truck.

The gem in GUBRA lies on the other side of town where a young Muslim cleric and his wife live next door to prostitutes. Yasmin liberally stabs at Muslims in Malaysia in a several scenes. The cleric pets a crippled dog (his hands didn’t get wet, no?), the cleric’s wife does not angry at Temah the prostitute for not wearing tudung, and the couple, in accepting the prostitutes’ company does not practice ‘I’m-holier-than-thou’ hypocrisy.

The story also reveals how economically and spiritually destitute the prostitutes are and that, at the end of the day, they are only human. This perhaps is the sincerest effort on Yasmin’s part.

However, during the press conference to launch GUBRA, Yasmin did not thank her main sponsor, DiGi. Has this restraint got to do with LB winning Maxis?

Whatever the reason, at the end of a duet, it is impolite not to thank the partner.

As for DiGi, maybe it’s Time to Change…

… partner

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