In line with Hari Kebangsaan or Malaysia’s National Day, the BUZZ revisits some of the hit local films which have made great strides in quality storytelling, top-notch animation and innovative camerawork and action choreography.
Horror films are a popular genre in Malaysia but what made Pusaka stand out was its ability to merge an old local and supernatural practice in the events of the story. Inspector Nuar Ishak finds the bodies of a pair of twins named Balqis and Qistina in an abandoned house.
What seemingly looked like a normal police investigation quickly turned into a supernatural one when the inspector begins to lose his mind the deeper he got into the mystery. Little did he know, he stumbled into an old practice of using demons to protect the family and gain worldly wealth.
The Malay-language horror film directed by Razaisyam Rashid earned RM12.8million at the box office and gained praises from moviegoers.
2. PASKAL: The Movie
The 2018 Malaysian military action film directed by Adrian Teh is one of the highest-grossing local films in Malaysia. Inspired by the elite Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) named PASKAL (Pasukan Khas Laut), the film is a retelling of actual events during the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Angola in 1998 and the successful rescue of MV Bunga Laurel’s trade vessel from pirates in 2011.
3. Ejen Ali the Movie
Ejen Ali first appeared as a hit television series which tells the story of a young boy named Ali who accidentally got recruited as a spy. The movie continues telling his adventures with his friends to protect the city of Cyberaya from a mystery technology.
The film managed to rake in RM25million in just three weeks. Due to its top notch animation, compelling storylines and explosive action sequences, the film drew in a massive audience. Seeing all the amazing gadgets Ejen Ali and his friend use is a soft reminder of what vision 2020 could look like.
Ejen Ali the Movie is nominated for Best Animated Feature Film in the 24th Cartoons on the Bay Pulcinella Awards, and is pending nomination for the Best Animated Film in the 31st Malaysia Film Festival.
Helmed by the same director who directed PASKAL: The Movie, Adrian Teh, Wira is packed with action and feature sequences never seen before in local films. The plot revolves around an ex-military man who returns home after a long absence to help his family face a local thug named Raja.
The film boasts innovative camerawork, special effects and amazing action choreography by Indonesian action star Yayan Ruhian. Female characters are also a refreshing sight because they’re no longer in stereotypical weaker roles. Actresses Fify Azmi and Ismi Melinda got to flex their own stunts and were as strong as their male counterparts.
5. The Garden of Evening Mists
Based on a book of the same name by Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng, the film follows Teoh Yun Ling, a woman who survived the Japanese war camp. Upon returning home to Malaya in the 1940s, she wanted to build a garden in memory of her sister who dies and travelled to Cameron Highlands to become a student to a mysterious Japanese gardener. The story quickly becomes a tale of forbidden love the longer the two spent time together.
The film garnered nine nominations at the 56th Golden Horse Awards and won one award for Best Makeup and Costume Design.