Thursday, April 7, 2011

Movie Hopping in KL - And Resting My Restless Feet

The sun was up in sunny KL and for the first time in weeks, I didn't even flinch from my bed way into lunchtime. I didn't bother charging my camera's battery last night, just as it had been habitual; a procedure borne out of habit in all the days when I travel. It was comforting for a change to rest my feet. They feel tender when I step on them, but with further walking, they tend to disappear.

In the afternoon, I had to rise from my bed and shower off my lazy bones. It was time to head down to Berjaya Times Square (above) where I eventually decided to watch a Hong Kong movie called "Don't Go Breaking My Heart".

Director Johnnie To is a critically acclaimed director of well-made, high adrenaline-fueled police dramas thus a romantic comedy was out of his turf. I saw "Triple Tap" here in KL last July (2010) with his favorite actors, Louis Koo and Daniel Wu. In a genre far removed from their comfort zone, are they like fish out of water? Like the most pleasant surprises, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" turns out to be one of the most delightful, smart and heart breaking romcoms I have seen. It ranks up there with some of the classic rom-coms ("Breakfast at Tiffany's", "Sleepless in Seattle", "Pretty Woman", "Like Water For Chocolate", etc.) Get my drift?

This film also stars this delightful Chinese actress named Gao Yuanyuan and HK heart throb Daniel Wu. For almost 2 hours and 11 ringgit, I forgot that I was far away from home. In trickles of romantic inspirations, the audience takes a roller coaster ride to the intricacies of fickle hearts, and you end up wishing the girl wouldn't pick from any of the guy simply because you don't want anyone one's heart broken! But she picked her man anyway!

After the film, I went straight to Food and Tea Hong Kong Restaurant just beside the GSC Movie Counter and got myself a Yang Chao Fried Rice at just 8.90 ringgit. That was a hearty meal for this rice-eating traveler.

I didn't wanna call it a day. You're in KL and your day is described by a single film? No way! Let's make it two films. LOL

So I decided to watch another movie - a Malay movie called "Cun!" - pronounced "chun". It starred Maya Karin and Remy Ishak who, I suspect, are local superstars. This Osman Ali film is a crowd pleasing flick that follows a popular celebrity named Luna who suddenly witnesses the indiscretions of her long time boyfriend. As a consequence, she leaves the big city with her assistant, and drive into unfamiliar backroads. They end up in a picturesque kampong (village) surrounded by rice fields, a sinewy river and a romantic hill from a distance.

It is here where she meets adorable village boy Athan (Ishak) who's initially resistant to the urban demeanor of the visitors. But after several altercations, the two gradually find romance. What happens when the paparazzi finally finds the missing showbiz princess? In "Maging Sino Ka Man" fashion, we are treated to a formulaic narrative of a rich modern girl thrown into the humdrum life of a simple village boy; of city folks against conservative traditional mores of the rural folks, and through we initially felt it was too trite, we understand the screen magic of Karin and her escort, Ishak. This is Sharon Cuneta and Robin Padilla creating romantic magic on screen, Malaysian style. Though it is far from being the smartest of flicks, it bears a distinct charm that wasn't lost on me.

"Cun", according to the ticker sellers, is a loose translation of "pretty"; the girls beside her remarked, to add "beautiful"! Now that's a Bahasa term I won't mind adding to my limited Malaysian vocabulary.

I came out of the movie at 11:45PM. The monorail was still running, but it was like testing fate. Bought a ticket (from Imbi, just beside Berjaya) to Bukit Bintang which looked festive at close to midnight! I went straight to Ambassador Hotel which has a 24-hour internet cafe at the second floor. Despite a talkative (and noisy) seatmate who Skyped for one whole hour, I finished my mails.

I slung back my bag and trodded ever so leisurely along Bintang Walk, making my way back to my hotel in Jalan Pudu, through massage touts and transvestites, prostitutes and taxi drivers, well lit cafes and convenience stores. KL is beautiful at night. New buildings will give Jalan Pudu a more urbane face in the next 3 months or so. I feel grateful to know such trivial things. The Malaysians have been feverish in their mad rush to construct, build and renovate; some place always looks new, and nice, and different every time I am here. I feel like a pseudo-resident, and in my solitary meanderings and frequent transits, KL is closer to home than I have always thought.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

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