Mansor Akob's comedy stars Zizan Raja Lawak as a man named Afik who becomes mentally unbalanced after the death of his stepsister, Amy. In his traumatized state, he is misunderstood as insane, and is sent to a mental asylum as a result. There, he meets its various inmates and finds out for himself the meaning of being human.
Review By Shylah Rashid
The word 'giler' is used to express a hyperbole, such as 'cun giler', 'syok giler', 'sedap giler', 'lawak giler', which translate into 'extremely cool', 'super fun', 'very yummy', 'extremely hilarious', respectively. Usually if someone is too kind-hearted, people will say, 'that's so kind of you', but in this generation, the phrase 'you're insanely kind' is often used instead.
But what happens when we use it to describe someone who has just recovered from a mental illness? That is what director Mansor Akob, better known as Manchi, is trying to say in his directorial debut, "Baik Giler".
The film tells the mental conflicts and stress faced by a kind-hearted and well-mannered youth named Afik, who gets keyed up whenever someone describes him as 'insanely kind', as in Malay, the phrase can also literally be translated to 'you're better off insane'. This is because Afik has just been released from a mental asylum, and as a result, Afik is often be at odds with the connotations that people use the phrase to describe him, often mistaking it for an insult.
In fact, it is as if Afik has an alter ego: whenever he hears someone say 'baik giler' to him, the mild-mannered Afik will take on a more violent personality. This becomes the basis for the many hilarious scenes in the film, as a result of Afik's interactions with the people around him.
With a running time of an hour and 36 minutes, it can be concluded that Manchi's debut feature film is a light comedy that is bound to entertain you in cinemas, and praise should be given to him for managing to put together a notable cast of comedians such as Zizan, Awie, Esma Daniel, Abon, Shahrifah Shahira and many others in his first run.
However, in all honesty, Manchi's film lacks the punch needed to hit all the right notes despite the all-star local cast. The script by Drs. Bambang Suhartonio is fairly loose, with the some of the plot threads leading to dead ends while some just do not make any sense. The reviewer can hardly remember enough to make sense of four to five scenes because everything is just thrown at you suddenly, except the meeting between Kimi (Awie) and Diana (Siti Fazurina).
What is so interesting about this scene at the restaurant is Kimi asking Diana to spread rumours about Afik's (Zizan) wrongdoings to Afik's dream girl, Suraya (Farawahida). It is so obvious from the conversation that Kimi and Diana have never met nor known Suraya, but in the following scene, Diana meets up with Suraya and Diva (Kenchana Dewi) and talks to them like old friends while spreading gossip about Afik. How does she know what Suraya looks like or where to find her in the shopping mall? If the narrative was tidied up and touched with 'logic' then perhaps it would have achieved the standard of light comedy that is entertaining, not confusing.
From the acting point of view, die-hard Zizan fans who are eager to see him on the silver screen, this film is the one as he gets a lot of screen time in this. However, compared to his acting in films that break the fourth wall, Zizan's acting is slightly more constrained and awkward here. There are a few jokes that did not quite take off even though the whole of Malaysia knows that Zizan is capable of humour. According to Manchi, when he first offered Zizan the role two years ago, Zizan was still new, and had only appeared on television, so "Baik Giler" can be said to be one of his trial films.
The heroine played by Farawahida is also her first feature film appearance. Credit should be given to her for acting well, although there are one or two scenes where she froze up. As for other senior stars such as Awie, Abon, Sharifah Shahira, Esma Daniel, Siti Fazurina, there is no need to say more, as each of them managed to pull their own weight in the film, and that is it only the weak plot that dragged them all down.
Moving on to the romantic bits in the film, the scene where the two leads are chasing each other in the flower park while singing love songs a la Bollywood is way too cliche. And as expected, after all the hullaballoo, the hero awakens and it all turns out to be his dream. But thankfully, Manchi used classic Malay songs as the instrumentals for the lovebirds, so it makes the scenes less painful to watch, and more nostalgic like "Leila Majnun", a classic Malay film starring Nordin Ahmad and Latifah Omar.
This are some of the issues that the reviewer managed to pen down, although it must be admitted that the film's themes of values of humanity, friendship and family makes for a good film idea. How the phrase 'baik giler' was interpreted and employed in the film until it becomes a thought worthy issue should be commended. "Baik Giler" is an entertaining watch in spite of all its weaknesses, as the cast more than makes up for them.
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