A Legendary Love
- 2h 25min
In the late 15th century, a forbidden romance blossoms between Gusti Putri, a Javanese Hindu princess and Hang Tuah, a Malay Muslim warrior from Melaka, against a backdrop of war and mystici... Read allIn the late 15th century, a forbidden romance blossoms between Gusti Putri, a Javanese Hindu princess and Hang Tuah, a Malay Muslim warrior from Melaka, against a backdrop of war and mysticism.In the late 15th century, a forbidden romance blossoms between Gusti Putri, a Javanese Hindu princess and Hang Tuah, a Malay Muslim warrior from Melaka, against a backdrop of war and mysticism.
A bloated production, however, doesn't quite make this movie what it could - and should - have been. The movie opens up with M. Nasir as Admiral Hang Tuah, the legendary Malaccan warrior, bringing a couple of bandits to justice. This was an excellent opener. The story then begins with the royal expedition between two great empires. For the first 30 minutes, i was hooked and impressed - the fight scenes, backdrops, beautifully handled shots, and interesting dialogue; at that point, i was convinced that this could possibly be a great movie. However, the momentum just breaks off completely, and as the story drags to the two-and-a-half hour mark, my interest slowly wanes off into boredom.
So, what's wrong with it? How could they mess up such brilliant opening sequences? It's mainly the storytelling. The opening sequences laid out set piece after set piece, leading viewers to believe that this could lead to a powerful climax.. but.. the climax is just unsatisfying and ultimately somewhat predictable. True, some of us know the story already, but really, we were looking for the execution to have that extra ZEST. The buildup is long and draggy, and the final scenes are unexciting and lifeless.
My biggest gripe with the movie,is the actual love story itself. Yes, we all know that PGL is basically a love story. So why don't we feel the intensity of this love? The writing and direction hardly makes us care for the couple, and we never truly feel the deep emotion and sacrifice which they go through. It's just running around, and trading well-written poetry. Furthermore, the portrayal of the empires seem a bit weak and not as powerful as we were led to believe.
All that said, there are some notable performances throughout the movie. M Nasir excels superbly as Hang Tuah, and plays his part out superbly. The sultan of Malacca, as well as the Queen, is played exceptionably well, too. Tiara Jacquelina was okay, but she was hampered by mediocre dialogue. The only problem I have with these characters isn't the acting, but rather the overall script - most of them weren't really portrayed with enough depth to make us care for them.
Overall, I am quite disappointed with the movie. Given the production budget, list of superb actors, and great background plot, this would have been a surefire hit. Instead it misses the mark, having a dragged-out, unsatisfying story, relying on the fat production to work out its magic. Still, like I mentioned, I have faith that if someone could pick up where this movie left off, and improve these crucial areas, this could be a great movie (and in fact, I was told the theatrical play is much better, which is a good sign). As a movie, however, PGL isn't all that good. I would still recommend the movie for everyone, just to learn on the myth itself, but don't expect the legendary love epic that will blow you away.
- Dec 27, 2006