That is what I think of Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa! It’s the most epic and dopest movie ever made in Malaysia!
If you think a movie based roughly on Sejarah Melayu or Malay Annals would be largely uninteresting, think again. Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa is a movie like no other, at least if you compare it with other Malaysian movies-lah! Wait, screw that, I don’t think other Hollywood movies can be compared with this too! Cheers!
The film was set in 210AD. It tells us about a Roman prince, Marcus Caprenius who was sent to the orient, or to be more precise, the Golden Chersonese [Malay Peninsula, according to Ptolemy] to be married with a Chinese princess, Li Hua. The prince’ fleet was capsized near Goa, so to begin a new journey, he needed a new sailor. Who else was suited for the task but Merong Mahawangsa. They travelled to the new kingless place, and the prince met the princess for the first time. Unknown to them, one tribe had already devised a plan, a very bad plan. What will happen to Merong Mahawangsa, Marcus, and Li Hua?
I watched the trailer before, and it was great. I think it’s good that the movie did live up to the hype.
The characters and casts were spectacular [and very multicultural!], the cinematography was breathtaking [90% of the filming was done in… TERENGGANU! Hehey!!!], the score… it was an aural feast! I couldn’t believe that score is Malaysian-made! Go Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra! The CGI was largely good for a Malaysian movie.
The story, I don’t really know how much it followed the true Merong Mahawangsa legend, but it’s okay, because the movie is an epic feast! It’s filled with bloodywicked battle scenes, comedies [can I say that the comedic scenes in the movie were way better than most slapsticks movie that our film industry always made?], romance [one can get away from that right?], magic, some science spectacle [courtesy of Archimedes], and the language, Classic Malay is a beauty, don’t you think?
I do think that the movie just need a bit more focus on editing. The last scene needs to be more emotional too, if you know what I am saying here. No spoiler!
What’s best is that the cinema seemed to enjoy the movie too. The audience clapped, and screamed, and shouted. Haha…
[by the way, watched this movie with Zell, Rachel, and Vanessa! More 'bout them later!]