Tuesday, February 2, 2016
A Review on OlaBola
Today, theSun runs a review on OlaBola Here is the full story
THE STORY starts in the present time with a young professional broadcast journalist (Marianne Tan) who is disillusioned with life in Malaysia and prepares to head for greener pastures in England. She is given a final assignment: to do a story about a multicultural team of footballers who are trying to overcome the odds and their personal problems to achieve international Olympic glory. The film goes back to 1980s and focuses on three individuals in the team – team captain Chow Kwok Keong (Chee), striker Ahmad Ali (Luqman), and goalkeeper Muthu Kumar (Saran). Chow is torn between giving his family a better life and his passion for football. Muthu faces objections from his father over his fascination with football and Ahmad wants to be the best player in his team, but has p r o b l e m controlling his temper. I am sure director Chiu is feeling some pressure.
Two years ago, he delivered the touching The Journey, which went on to break box-office record as the then highest-grossing Malaysian film, collecting more than RM17 million. (That record has since been broken by Polis Evo last year.) Now, everyone is expecting him to recapture the magic with OlaBola. I am sure most of them are going to make comparisons between the two films. Well, I will try not to succumb to temptation, and instead judge OlaBola on its own merits.
For starters the movie was well shot. The cinematography was beautiful. The football matches were intense, and will have audiences at the edge of the seats. Chiu has managed to capture era magnificently. A lot of attention has been put on the costumes and the set. The actors also gave convincing performances including the new ones like Chee, Luqman and Saran. Sometimes, new actors have a tendency to look awkward on the screen. This did not happen here. Yet, OlaBola is far from perfect.
The biggest flaw I felt lies in the script and dialogue. The message of unity among different races and the ultimate love these characters have for their country is continuously drummed into the audience. These messages of patriotism can be overwhelming and at times, a little irritating, and could have been delivered in a more subtle way. While Chiu has given us a very sweet cake of a movie, what it badly needs is a little bitterness to cut down on that overt sweetness.