In figuring out which film to watch at the cinema, Syahirah Jermadi looked up to the sky and followed her heart.
‘Terbaik Dari Langit’. Another Malay movie by Nik Amir Mustapha, whose debut feature effort, ‘KIL’, was a cultural and critical hit. Just like that film, this is not your average Malay movie. No mess, no fuss, no cheesy romance. The storyline is just about right to keep my brain cells continuously connected throughout the whole 106 minutes.
‘Terbaik Dari Langit’ (or ‘Nova’, as titled for the international market) is about Berg (Bront Palarae) being this fresh filmmaker wanting to do a sci-fi film with the help of his three school friends, Ali (Megat Sharizal), Ijam (Iedil Putra) and Toyu (Amerul Affendi), and a girl named Sofia Jane (Nadiya Nisaa). This was also an opportunity for Berg to use this mini reunion to go on an adventure with them and prove that UFOs exists. That may sound simple and straightforward…but it wasn’t.
And that is exactly what I liked about the movie. So much can be told about one simple thing, and the writer (Redza Minhat) did a good job in applying several concepts of the human mind to expand what is thought to be simple into an interestingly complex matter, which I am pretty sure needed a certain amount of research on the mind and behaviour (or maybe he is just very knowledgeable).
Although it started off a bit slow, the story build-up was good enough to keep me engaged until the end. It gave me enough time to get to know and learn each and every one of the characters. The portrayal of characters had so much truth in them. As an audience member, I felt the need to understand each one of them, to understand why they all act in such a way, thinking about what kind of personality trait they might have and how it may relate to what they have to go through in life.
This film is a very honest film made from a youngster’s point of view. It is honest of the conflicts that exists in each of the main characters, as well as the conflicts between them. These are realistic enough to relate to ourselves or to someone we might know dearly. It is realistic enough to make a person realise that we all have to face the haunting conflicts in life at some point, for it should be dealt with right a way and not kept in a bottle. Berg, Ijam, Toyu and Ali had different ways in dealing with the conflicts.
Ijam, portraying a short-tempered superstar (or maybe just a famous actor), showed that keeping so much anger and so much resentment can really, truly destroy the important relationships you have with the people around you. It all comes down to the unresolved conflicts that he had in life.
On the other hand, Toyu has a timid personality. He didn’t really have the confidence to stand up for himself during fights with his friends; most of the time, he would be saying “Dah lagu tu, nak buat macam mana…” (which, by the way, has great potential to be made into a statement t-shirt). Truth be told, a lot of us can be Toyu sometimes. I can be, too. We let fear take over and just live with it. However, sometimes it actually only takes a little push to man up and seize the moment.
Of course, easier said than done.
Apart from it being an honest movie, it is also very symbolic. Berg’s beliefs in extraterrestrial existence was also partly related to the hallucinations from his drug addiction problems (which I thought was completely unnecessary. I don’t want kids to be trying drugs out). If you look at it from another point of view, though, it made him perceive life differently, as if it was unique, magical and beautiful. His ending symbolises a spiritual aspect, on how we, too, will one day have a similar ending/beginning. At least, that’s how I would like to think.
Although I know it might take time for some to understand, I would say it would be worth watching if you want to get to know it better. It’s a shame that there were only about five people in the cinema watching with me. And that was during the first week of release! I admit I thought I was about to be disappointed during the early parts of the movie, but eventually I was proven wrong.
Of course, there is always room for improvement, but I guess we can say that about everything and everyone, including us. That improvement will only come about when we’re honest with ourselves, and that’s what the film is about.
Syahirah thinks honesty is the best policy.
Featured image credit: Wikipedia