THE Malaysian movie industry is experiencing a downturn in terms of the number of people watching locally produced Malay films in cinemas. Even the movie Bisik Pada Langit, which received splendid reviews and impressive ratings, was pulled off the screens earlier than expected at Cathay Cineplex, Johor Baru.
Bisik Pada Langit received an 8.1/10 rating on IMDb and 4.2/5 on Goodreads, which is quite impressive especially for a local Malay movie. So, why are Malaysians not watching Malay movies in cinemas anymore?
These days, we are able to watch the movies at home via Astro First. Malaysians would rather buy Malay movies on Astro and watch them later. They think they are wasting their money watching a Malay movie in the cinema.
Furthermore, some Malaysians would wait for Hari Raya Aidilfitri to watch Malay movies. During this festive season, Malaysian TV would air movies that were released in the cinemas two or three months earlier.
Malaysians are always complaining that the Malay movie genre has remained stagnant. Most of the films are either about love or horror or are comedies which feature mat rempit. Some even feature stupid jokes or racial remarks and body shaming just to make people laugh. This is so unlike movies made in Western countries that are able to make us think while we are watching them. These include movies like Limitless and Inception.
Furthermore, Malay movies can easily be downloaded illegally. Even before KL Gangster 2, directed by Shamsul Yusof, was released, the movie had already been leaked on Facebook and could be watched and downloaded easily.
It is true that it is still lacking in a lot of ways but we should still support the local film industry.
HAZIRAH AB RAHIM
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