MALAYSIAN CINEMATIC VILLAINS
AMOK (1995) & PENDEKAR BUJANG LAPOK (1959)
NAME: HIDAYAT BIN HAMID
MATRIX NO: P-KOM 0112/12
COURSE: SCREEN STUDIES
1. Amok (1995)
Director: Adman Salleh
* Nasir Bilal Khan - Wan Man
* Ramona Rahman – Natalie
* Hans Isaac - Rem
Amok is a 1995 Malaysian film directed by Adman Salleh and original story by Malaysian famous writer and poet, Salleh Ben Joned. As a drama and thriller genre, Amok revolves around the contrast nature of three different characters. Wan Man, a village youth who learn and practicing silat in his village. He then fell in love with a foreign woman, Natalie - an American Peace Corp volunteer who came to a village on the east coast to pursue her PhD study in Malay Psychic. Natalie, described as an independent girl, part of the Flower Power influence arising from Woodstock event and also practicing drugs and free sex. The film is set in the early years of the 1970s, the era influenced by hippie’s lifestyle, rock music, drugs and The Vietnam War protests by young Americans.
Another character is Ram, Wan Man’s best friend who are greatly influenced by the tourists free sex lifestyle and culture Traditional cultures and Islam religion practices by Wan Man and the villagers, as well as the inherited mystique elements in inner Wan (also known as Saka) troubled by the encounter with wild culture brought by Natalie and the Americans. All these feelings finally exploded with Amok.
According to Oxford Dictionary, Amok or Amuck originally came from Malay word, which means to behave uncontrollably and disruptively: The behavior was identified in Malay Archipelago such as Malaysia and Indonesia and often associated in Malay culture. In this film, Wan Man is subjected as the main character that runs amok as the director. Adman Salleh associated both different culture and religion clashes which finally create a raging monster.
After a deep and critical analysis in this particular film, Natalie, a gorgeous young woman who came to Malaysia to pursuing her PHD in Malay Physic were identified as the main villain. She is described as in her mid-twenties, beautiful, an American Peace Corp volunteer who comes to the village in east cost to pursue her PHD study in Malay Psychic. There, she met Wan Man, the protagonist who fell in love with her, slowly practicing the life of hippies with his best friend, Ram. Throughout the film, both Wan Man and Ram were having a relationship between Natalie, as in the form of occasional sexual intercourse.
Why she was identified as villain and what are her objectives which can be related as the form of villain? We can see it through the form of relationships that occur is different are Natalie - Wan Man and Natalie -Ram. As we can view how sex is the connector, both of them are trapped in a carefree lifestyle bought by her in the village. Ram relationship and Natalie does not have much of a problem because they are subscribing to the same cultural assumptions, which are the liberal beliefs practiced. But the relationship between Natalie by Wan Man is somewhat a strange relationship and very contrary to the culture. At the end, Wan Man trapped into a love relationship with Natalie, which obviously did not have feelings toward him.
Wan Man, as in this film, analyzed as the subject or representative form of Malay youth who are attached firmly to the beliefs and traditions, created a mixed feeling of insecurity and hatred; both of them exist after Natalie appeared in his life. Insecurity because of Natalie’s presence, as well as the westerners who comes here which deconstruct the village conservative traditions, religion and beliefs. There is a particular scene where Ram, bought a foreign girl to his house, while Wan Man is nearby. He obviously didn’t say anything and look...