Khairil M. Bahar's CIPLAK should get every film student and filmmaker wannabes to think something along the line, "Hey, if he could do this with less than RM10k and a bunch of friends, I could too!"
While Ciplak is definitely a movie made by a self-professed film geek (it was made known none-too-subtly at least five times throughout the movie), for fellow film geeks, non-film geeks who like things done differently could also get a kick out of it. Ciplak might just do it for you what Lips to Lips (Amir Muhammad) did to me - got me sucked into the vortex that is indie films, with special mention to local fare. When the girlfriend was telling us the roots of ciggie-flicking and red sneakers persona it was fine, but the malookitmeaiyemafilmgeek factor did go overboard when one of the characters was made to mention Back to The Future at a particular scene - that made me cringe a bit. Probably Khai was too intent on getting the audience to 'get' it.
Looking at the subject matter, you'd be pardoned to think "How the heck did he get away with it?" I did too, and let me tell you how - on that level, Ciplak may explain and scratch the surface on why it happens and how the 'industry' works, but it definitely didn't show that it condones it or that it's cool and it's okay, in fact it was almost as blatant as those government-sponsored infomercial with the skeletonhead pirate in saying that piracy is bad, Bad, BAD.
I am easily amused, and bearing in mind the circumstances under which Ciplak was finally fit for fruition, I enjoyed it as it is. Yeah there were some draggy moments in the middle, Khai spews various cuss words and seposen sedozen, some of the acting could've done better and all that, but the quirky TV-pendidikan style start on Piracy 101 lessons, Khai's effortless transition to-and-from 'acting' - 'narrating' and the potong stim ending (after a rather la-di-da 'kembang tekak motivational talk' deus ex machina) which was such a brilliant surprise plus last but not least the witty laughfest before the end credits all more than made up for it.
There were about 10 of us in the international screen hall at GSC that night but everybody sure sounded like they enjoyed it. Oh, the reason it's being shown only at the international screen hall is solely due to the fact that it's the only one that's equipped for digital media movies - Ciplak was filmed with DV tapes and digitally edited on Khai's home PC - a pure labor of love.
So would I recommend this?
YES, if I know you are the type who either a) has a love for films or film-making b) dig quirky stuff c) partial with against-the-machine sort of things d) always open to new experience e) a dvd pirate; and NO if you are none of the above.
- Click over to Khai's blog
- Ciplak official site is recommended for amusing info and tid-bits on the making of the movie
- Last time I checked here, Ciplak is still being screened at GSC Midvalley, GSC One Utama (New Wing) and GSC Gurney Plaza. GSC Midvalley will run shows until at least 20th December 2006.