Monday, September 17, 2012

29 Februari : My Fav Malaysian Movie of All Time

I LOVE this movie! ‘29 februari’ takes you on a journey – not just in the hero’s romantic quest to find his soulmate, but throughout malaysia’s trials and tribulations. from being occupied by the japanese and brits to merdeka up to the moment our national car was born, until the present 2012.

you will cry and cheer as you watch the proclamation of MERDEKA in the huge cinema screen, (in full color!) and you will gasp in excitement as you see a young tun mahathir with sideburns shaking hands with our hero budi. all in ‘29 februari’ – malaysia’s first 3D movie.



I managed to watch KRU’s ‘29 Februari’ at the cinema, on opening day, just few days before flying back to dubai. excited because ever since my youngest sis showed me the trailer few months back, I was hoping that I would be in malaysia when it’s shown in cinema.

I did watch it, and it has since become, one of the best malaysian movies I’ve seen in years.

the actors, the storyline, the script, the songs – almost comparatively flawless when you think of the standard of the movies in malaysia which seemed to rely on the same money-making faces, boring cliché script and unoriginal storyline. ‘29 Februari’ defies the convention, and presents to us one of the most engaging stories ever.

aku suka sangat-sangat movie ni!


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my cinematic experience watching 29 februari

I saw the movie ‘29 Februari’ on the first day it premiered on malaysian cinema, but have been putting off writing the review because my youngest sister (who is a big supporter of malay movies) haven’t seen it yet.

(terima kasih tolong babysit khaleef, kahfi & kazim!)

oh well. I’ve waited long enough – unfortunately she didn’t have the time to watch the movie what with all the wedding prep she’s going thru, and work, so I wanna write this down before I forget the wonderful feeling this movie has left me with!



RM28 for 2 – still cheaper than ONE 3D cinema ticket in dubai!


just us!


maybe it was the first day. or that we were watching it at a new shopping mall (paradigm mall, kelana jaya). and we’re watching the 3D version – but we were completely alone in the cinema hall! throughout the movie. seriously! so terus berangan yang mr. khairul booked the whole cinema hall just for me haha.

nasib baik dah kawen, kalo tak ini bole membawa kepada khalwat ni!

when we walked inside, it was still too early to tell whether they’d be only 5 or 10 viewers. maybe we were first. bila movie dah start, takde orang lagi. ntah-ntah lambat. takpe. and then in the middle of the movie, mr. khairul looked around and confirmed it – we WERE indeed alone in the cinema hall!

lepas tu terus gelak kuat-kuat, kunyah popcorn sesuka hati, baring-baring sambil letak kaki kat seat sebelah. hoho.


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you guys know the storyline?

it’s what I call benjamin button meets forest gump. the plot has no similarities to either movie but it’s associated with those two because it deals with aging weirdly (benjamin button aged backwards, budi in ‘29 februari’ aged only once in 4 years), and it has original clips from actual historical events and they CGI-ed the characters into the original clips (like forest gump meeting john lennon and such, in ‘29 februari’, budi shook hands with tun mahathir in the 70-s).

nways, plot :

budi was born on a leap year, and for some reason, he ages only once in 4 years – making him much younger than everyone else his age. he was raised in an orphanage after his parents died during the japanese occupation. his bestfriend was this blind dude named razak. he met a chinese girl lily, and they fell in love despite the obvious race and religious differences. father opposed, lily ran away – and budi spent his whole life looking for his true love, and in that journey he went through several decades – and never seemed to age.

(ini rumusan aku tau, tak cedok dari mana-mana website!)



character in 29 februari

  1. remy ishak is budi. owh, to me he’s truly the current ‘lelaki melayu terakhir’ competing only against aaron aziz. he’s tall, dark and maybe not gorgeous-handsome, but kacak-manis-lelaki-melayu. haha. walaupun kadang-kadang ade close-up yang buat aku rasa “eh takde le hensem sgt remy ishak ni,” but there lies his attraction – he’s believable. tak payah handsome melampau macam johnny depp. penonton lelaki pun senang nak suka sebab remy ishak ni bukan saje ladies-man, tapi man’s man! make sense tak?
  2. he was just fantastic in his role as budi. budi was laidback and playful, passionate and in love. and remy ishak potrays that wonderfully that we believe his feelings, adventures and challenges. he delivers his line effortlessly – selamba. I like the way he acts, and I am looking forward to more movie performances from this talented actor.
  3. jojo goh as lily is demure, feminine and oh so sweet, you can’t help but just fall in love with her too. I’ve never heard of her, so I commended her acting which is also believable as the chinese girl who defied her father and falls for a malay guy. no doubt she has a chinese accent when she speaks, but that adds to the authenticity of the storyline.
  4. I like the remy-jojo combo, and  the chemistry between the two actors is also a winning recipe for the success of ‘29 februari’.
  5. izzue islam as razak surprises me. I don’t know this actor, but he amazes me with his talent. he’s a natural. the way he says his lines. the way he plays a blind man. he’s alright.
  6. the whole line-up of supporting actors also deliver great performances – lily’s dad, the indian lawyer, the warden of the orphanage, the kids and especially budi’s dad – all gave their best eventhough they appear for a short while. I like movies that don’t sideline the supporting actors no matter how small.


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remy ishak can sing? yes, he sang one of the main songs in the movie soundtrack ‘kelip-kelip’ (fireflies) and he did it wonderfully. he has a deep manly voice that is just soothing to hear. the song ‘kelip-kelip’ is SO norman-yusry-edry that you can almost hear THEM singing the song.

it’s a sweet song with meaningful lyrics – I can see it winning a couple of malaysian music awards…



I absolutely LOVE the movie soundtrack. since the storyline started during the british and japanese occupation – the songs featured are taken from around that era too. I can recognize a few catchy classic tunes of the 40’s and 50’s including the one below by zaharah agus, ‘kalau mau kenal’ – I LOVE this song and it was so appropriate for that period of time in that scene!




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(semua aku nak komen kan haha)

edry as the director should be most applauded for his exceptional work on ‘29 februari’. I’ve seen ‘merong mahawangsa’ (also produced by KRU) and though it’s a big production, big story with awesome cinematography and costume, the flow of the storyline became draggy and soon boring.

but ‘29 februari’ is a breath of fresh air. the camera work is beautiful – you can see it from the angles and corners of the shots. the setting is gorgeous – where on earth did they find the beautiful malay kampung house to be the orphanage? and the kelip-kelip scene? lawa!

the script is never boring and is always necessary – takde babak minum air fresh orange hihi.



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here’s the trailer of the movie if you haven’t seen it yet. aren’t you a little bit curious?



at the time of writing, ‘29 Februari’ is still playing in local cinemas nationwide. it is indeed one magical movie, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out on something wonderful, made by fellow malaysians. KRU is certainly in a league of their own!

*the stills from the movie ‘29 februari’ in this blog is taken from its facebook page. thank you! also, my favorite malaysian movies of all time are aziz m. osman’s ‘xx-ray’ and ‘puteri impian’, erma fatima’s ‘femina’ and ‘jimi asmara’, shuhaimi baba’s ‘layar lara’ and afdlin shauki’s ‘baik punya cilok’ and ‘cuci’. and now ‘29 februari’ too!


Liz said...

sebab raya, sampai sekarang saya tak sempat nak tengok lagi. puas melobi hubby. balik2 dia tanya soalan yang sama, "29 february ni cerita apa?". penat mengulang jawapan.

merong mahawangsa diarahkan oleh yusry kan? saya memang lagi suka hasil kerja edry.

harapnya sempat tgk hujung minggu ni.

Anonymous said...

excellent review.this good very movie.

Syigim said...

>> liz, dah tgk ke 29 februari? dah klua pun kat astro first! hopefully the kru brothers tak give up!

>> anon, thanks :)

Joy said...

I only have rave reviews for 29 februari. Watched it on small in-flight tv screen on a long-haul MAS flight. Boy was i in for a major surprise and thumbs up to the fantastic cinemetography. The film cleverly reminisces Malaysian history in action at a pace that's smooth and not boring throughout. The "fireflies" song is oh so sweet to the ears and melts the heart. Their love for each other defying racial prejudism is heart-wrenching romanticism as found in romeo n juliet. Won't be surprised this would stay as my top fav movie for many years to come. Malaysia boleh.

Syigim said...

hi joy, thanks for dropping a comment! :) well-said, i agree that there's not a boring moment in 29 februari as it goes through time :)

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