Review: ‘Monday Morning Glory’

"Monday Morning Glory" is an intriguing docudrama-style exploration of nationalist terrorism and government information control in the wake of a fictive bombing. Contrasting an official staged re-enactment for the press with flashbacks to the events themselves, deliberately ambiguous drama poses questions that will seem timely to fest auds worldwide.

“Monday Morning Glory,” first feature for writer-director Ming Jin Woo, is an intriguing docudrama-style exploration of nationalist terrorism and government information control in the wake of a fictive bombing. Contrasting an official staged re-enactment for the press with flashbacks to the events themselves, deliberately ambiguous drama poses questions that will seem timely to fest auds worldwide — though few are likely to find pic as daring as home-turf Malaysian viewers.

Under the eagle eye and crocodile smile of a police chief (Patrick Teoh), journalists and human rights advocates are shepherded through the steps a small rural cel of young Muslim men took before bombing a touristy nightclub — at a cost of 199 mostly native-lives — to protest the nation’s increasing Westernization. Those actions are confessed — mostly at machine gun-point by now-humbled conspirator Gozi (Azman Hassan). Yet the group’s actual leader is kept gagged, for dubious reasons, and savagely beaten when he tries shouting a message to the visitors. Present-tense sequences aren’t quite as convincing as the flashbacks, due to some amateurish perfs (especially from the smug journos), but crisply lensed pic is otherwise aptly naturalistic, provocative and free from overt editorializing.

Monday Morning Glory

Malaysia

Production

A Greenlight Pictures production. Produced by Zan Azlee, Ming Jin Woo. Executive producer, Amir Muhammad. Co-producer, Tumoko Veda. Directed, written by Ming Jin Woo.

Crew

Camera (color), James Lee; editor, M.J. Salinger; music, Hardesh Singh; production designer, Raymond Sekhon. Malay, English dialogue. Reviewed at San Francisco Film Festival, May 5, 2005. Running time: 84 MIN.

With

Patrick Teoh, Azman Hassan, Hariry Jalil, Azman Ismail, Zaefrul Nordin, Nasri Ayob.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading