Under the shadow of Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers, love, Malaysian style, comes with a distinctly sudsy feel in multistrand meller “Cinta.” Ensembler covers a wide economic and social cross-section of metropolitan society, but stylistically, the pic bears the influence of the region’s well-supported Hindi fare. Released in Kuala Lumpur last November, the film, unlike the Malaysian arty angst that proliferates on the fest circuit, has commercial prospects across Southeast Asia where melodrama thrives.
From media moguls to distraught provincial visitors, everyone gets to feel the pain and joy of amour in this romanticized, overlong slice of contempo Kuala Lumpur life. Five strands converge at various locations, like a local Laksa restaurant and later at a major hospital, but otherwise, the yarns remain independent of one another. Syrupy pop music swells at the drop of a durian, but always supporting rather than overwhelming the proceedings. Mumbai-trained helmer Kabir Bhatia tends to overuse his gliding camera technique, but is otherwise proficient. At screening caught, HD lensing transfer to 35mm appeared a little soft. All other tech credits are pro. Title is the Malay word for “love.”