Last night I did something that I have not done in a very long time.
I sat down and watched a Malay telemovie from the beginning till the end.
Not just that, I actually shut my mouth and refrained from criticising the acting / plot / storyline / etc.
Mr Labuci (Mr Sequins) was aired over the Cerekarama slot on TV3, told the story of Malique who quit his job to become a house husband. In the beginning, his wife, Zulaikha, was supportive of his decision. His good buddy, Alfi, was initially skeptical of his decision, ended up using his presence at home as a hang out to escape the pressures from working for his own father.
What first struck me about the movie was how natural the actors were. If you follow any of the Malay dramas, you will note how over/under acting are usually the norm; with unconvincing melodrama tossed in for good measure. I like how the dialogue did not seem forced and was delivered in a natural manner. Azhan Rani, the lead actor, did an excellent job conveying his role as husband/father/son/friend. The delightful young actress portraying the daughter is also refreshing and appear spontaneous in all her scenes. Rozita Che Wan did a decent job, but I wouldn't be surprised if many viewers were distracted by not the glitter on her outfits, but rather how well they fit her enviably hourglass figure.
The storyline was also a nice surprise, the treatment of the issue of how a man deals with the potentially emasculating job loss and how he developed his passion for sewing and beading (hence, the title of the film) was done in a sensitive AND sensible manner. I liked how Malique dealt with his mother's nagging regarding his lack of job and all the other role reversal that he played; however, I felt the confrontation with his wife when her true feelings about the situation came to fore and the resolution at the end was a tad too slick, but I accept that he just may be the rare breed of men who actually practices the kindness that was practiced by the Rasulullah SAW.
All in all, a nice weekend surprise and I wouldn't mind looking out for more shows with Azhan Rani in it.