Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ola Bola ... Talking Points

I watched it the first day it came out. How much was hype? I will say more later. Social media is abuzz with talking points. I was there, though very very young... so I can relate a bit better. My views in blue.

Below were excerpts of online comments:

> “It should be Eric Yong (James Wong,) the pride of Sabah, to score the historical goal, never understand why Ali is the scorer.... Why change the proud history of Malaysian football.... a very poor presentation of Malaysia football history...OlaBola....u can never cheat history.
Strictly speaking, IT IS NOT A DOCUMENTARY ... why don't you hit out on how good looking Keong was, supposedly to be Soh Chin Aun (tauke), I respect Chin Aun a lot as possibly the best defender Malaysia has ever produced but he is no looker. BUT if its not a documentary, it was BASED on real life events... it was, and they actually went as far as going to Sabah taking the train to talk to a supposedly ex-Sabah national player ... so obviously Eric in the movie was James Wong's "character somewhat" .. I know its not supposed to be accurate but you go all the way to try and replicate the FEELING OF MUHIBBAH, the Malaysia Boleh spirit, the fight for nation spirit ... why tamper with the scores and the scorer??? If it does not matter, why tamper??? Obviously its to make a deliberate attempt to balance out the racial focus of the movie - the tauke had a large portion of it, followed by Muthu's (Arumugam) family ... and in trying not to leave out the Malays, ...Ali became the scorer?? When do we have to be politically correct in creative arts, I guess thats why its called creative. I supposed the film maker would have wanted to stay true BUT look at the humungous number of advertisers and sponsors behind the film - I am sure THEY HAD A FUCKED UP say in it. The director/writer gets the brunt of it but somehow I think its NOT HIS FAULT. 
> Don’t waste your money and time to watch the movie, OlaBola! I was going to watch it few days ago in KL due to rave reviews but my bro-in-law and friends confirmed that not Eric but Ali who scored.
Again, to boycott the movie because of that one fact is just silly. It is not a historical documentary, in as much as Titanic was based on real events but you know there was no fucking Jack shouting "I am KING OF THE WORLD" in reality. But most of us enjoyed it. I can see the stupidity in having Ali scoring the goal - the biggest discredit is to have a whole new generation NOT knowing that it was James Wong who scored. But thanks to the uproar in social media - like it or not, now EVERYBODY KNOWS King James Wong scored the fucking goal!!! 

Imagine a film based on real events about Malaysia's independence, BUT NOT A DOCUMENTARY and you have Sinnapiah Samy shouting "Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka"...  at the stadium - you can do that but people will cringe at how far you went beyond real life events. 
Its a reprehensible fault but not big enough to detract from the overall good movie and execution.

> The younger n future generations MUST know the TRUE facts of Malaysia football.
> All of us here have a very strong feeling about being a Sabahan and the way we have been treated by our West Malaysian counterparts.
OK, don't be overly sensitive my beloved East Malaysians. The film actually shot a lot of scenes in Sabah, its beautiful. We get too sensitive about that ONE THING that distracts from the overall. Yes, I believe East Malaysians have been "mis-treated" in many ways. Look at Malaysia Day, when did it actually became a holiday? But we are still a young country and these things evolve and we learn. Our parents who live in West Malaysia rarely got the chance to visit East Malaysia during their heydays - but I think it would be fair to assume the majority of us below 40 have done so nowadays. Some things are NOT TAUGHT at school, we learn as we go along. Of course its largely the government's fault.
> The movie is not a documentary or biography. Names and storyline can be changed and also altered for the big screen. The movie’s main theme is about the true spirit of 1Malaysia. That’s the main message of the movie if we look at it from bigger picture.
Overall, the movie is a 7/10 ... not a 9 or a 10. The storyline is mushy and predictable. The acting was pretty good though I must say. The best thing about the film, the cinematography, the lensing and framing of scenic shots were superb. Who knew Malaysia was so pretty. The other good thing was how the team stayed true to the 70s in terms of the dressing, artefacts, ... the 70s fun-fair was exactly the way it was. Plus the theme song was fantastic.

I wondered why didn't the team stick to the truth and obtain permission from players to get at as close to the truth in the movie. 

Another thing is that the movie will gross a lot of money, as of last week its passing RM12m, a lot for a local film. BUT look at the power of advertising and commercials. Can someone tabulate how much would it cost to have that many advertisements on Astro??? Maybe RM12m also. I can safely say, without the powerful sponsors, Ola Bola would just be a middling success in box office locally. I am sure there are many struggling local film makers who would have balked and vomitted at the incessant deluge of commercials and song plays on Ola Bola. Imagine the brilliant local movie JAGAT, who only had a few days at the local cinemas before being pulled - how they could do with just 1/10th of the commercials Ola Bola had. Fair/Unfair ... pls vote now!!!

While it is all good to remember the team that got the second Olympic qualification, I am quite sure that they HAD ALL THEIR AMBITIONS, TENACITY and INSPIRATION from the earlier team who ACTUALLY got to go to the Olympics. The 1970s team ... did not get their deserved accolades as well. In fact the 80s team, I am sure would say their heroes were the following 1970s superstars (I may have left out a few):

These are the players that paved the way... that allowed the younger Malaysians to dream of the possible.

Life is not fair. As corporations with a heart, as a government who may start to have a heart ... do what is right, support good efforts fairly, as equitably as you can. Political correctness has no place in a true blue Malaysia.

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