×

Talentime

Reveals a writer-director granted insufficient time to reach her full potential.

With:
With: Pamela Chong Ven-teen, Mahesh Jugal Kishor, Mohammed Redzuan Adamshah, Jaclyn Victor.

Somewhere between understated and underdeveloped, “Talentime,” the swan song of Yasmin Ahmad, who died in July at age 51, reveals a writer-director granted insufficient time to reach her full potential. The story of two school talent-show contestants and their extended families, this slight pic offers a cross-section of contempo Malaysian life with hints of its religious, racial and social complexities. Already the subject of a 2006 Tokyo fest retro, Ahmad has received similar tributes — with “Talentime” headlining — across the fest circuit this year. But even within Southeast Asia, the pic underperformed in commercial venues.

Love blossoms (but drama plods) as comely singer Meleur (Pamela Chong Ven-teen) falls for mute student Mahesh (Mahesh Jugal Kishor), who’s assigned to drive her to rehearsals. Whether it be Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” or Pete Teo’s cute love songs, music provides a much-needed boost to Ahmad’s material, but unscored sections are marked by awkward silences, with clumsy comedy relief. Thesps utter jokes and straight lines with little sense of their meaning, as if the dialogue had been rehearsed to death. Snappier editing could get the pic up on its feet.

Talentime

Malaysia

Production: A Chilli Pepper Films production. (International sales: Primeworks Studios, Selangor, Malaysia.) Produced by Mohammad Effendy Harjoh. Executive producers, Ahmad Puad Onah, Faszil Manap. Directed, written by Yasmin Ahmad.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Low Soon-keong; editors, Raja Affandy, Raja Jamaluddin; music, Pete Teo; production designer, Wong Voon-leong. Reviewed at Tokyo Film Festival (Winds of Asia), Oct. 20, 2009. (Also in Pusan Film Festival -- Winds of Asia.) Malay, English, Tamil dialogue. Running time: 115 MIN.

With: With: Pamela Chong Ven-teen, Mahesh Jugal Kishor, Mohammed Redzuan Adamshah, Jaclyn Victor.

More Film

  • Sygeplejeskolen sc 205

    Claudia Boderke, Lars Mering Talk ‘The New Nurses,’ Gender, Class

    The inevitable comparison for SF Studios’ “The New Nurses,” at least from a Danish broadcast perspective, is “Something’s Rockin,’” another 2018 TV 2 Charlie show which was retro but forward-looking. “Something’s Rockin’” described the birth of an independent radio with culture in Denmark. Produced by SF Studios’ Senia Dremstrup (“Norskov”),  “The New Nurses” talks cleverly [...]

  • Robert Redford

    Robert Redford to Receive Honorary Cesar Award

    Legendary American actor and director Robert Redford is set to receive an honorary Cesar award, France’s equivalent of the Oscars, at the 44th annual César ceremony, which will take place on Feb. 22 in Paris. “An iconic actor, an exceptional director, a passionate producer, founder and president of Sundance, the most revered festival of independent [...]

  • Goteborg: Co-writer Hakan Lindhe on Viaplay’s

    Co-Writer Hakan Lindhe on Politics, Image in Viaplay’s ‘The Inner Circle’

    David Ehrling, Sweden’s Minister for Enterprise, who is tipped to be its next Prime Minister, spends a lot of the time in Sweden’s “The Inner Circle” not preparing his speeches, or in impassioned discussion of key political issues, but staring into the mirror, rain checking on his strong-jawed image. He spends much of his enterprise, [...]

  • 'Invisibles' Director Louis-Julien Petit On His

    'Invisibles' Director Louis-Julien Petit on his Socially-Minded Smash

    PARIS —  Far from a dumping ground, the months of January and February have become synonymous in France with the kinds of highly polished crowd-pleasing comedies that dominate the annual box-office. This year is no exception, only nestled among the likely blockbusters “Serial Bad Weddings 2” and “City Hunter” is Louis-Julien Petit’s socially minded dramedy [...]

  • "The Continent," directed by Chinese racer

    Alibaba Pictures Buys Into Chinese Director Han Han's Film Studio

    Alibaba Pictures confirmed that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Chinese celebrity blogger-turned-film director Han Han’s Shanghai Tingdong Film. Han’s upcoming “Pegasus” is one of the most anticipated films of the year in China. Alibaba Pictures, part of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is now the second-largest stakeholder in Tingdong. It has a 13.1% stake, according to Chinese [...]

  • Nicolas Philibert Talks Nursing Documentary 'Each

    Nicolas Philibert: 'A Director Driven To Make A Statement Cannot Make Cinema'

    PARIS  — For over two decades, French documentarian Nicolas Philibert has examined his country’s various public institutions with a watchmaker’s calm and anthropologist’s curiosity. In films like “To Be and To Have,” “La Maison de la Radio” and “Louvre City,” he’s taken his camera into schoolhouses, broadcast hubs and the world’s most famous museum. His [...]

  • 'Don't Come Back from the Moon'

    Film Review: 'Don't Come Back from the Moon'

    Cinematographer-turned-director Bruce Thierry Cheung offers an artful and affecting mix of harshly defined specifics and impressionistic storytelling in “Don’t Come Back from the Moon,” a cumulatively poignant drama about absent fathers and abandoned families in an economically devastated desert community. Structured more like a tone poem than a conventional narrative, it’s an elliptical memory play [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content