Title: Spinning Gasing Review
Malaysia. Malaysia. Malaysia. Lots of things remind me of Malaysia in Spinning Gasing, besides it being a national film set in Malaysia with Malaysian actors. The extremely obvious Malaysia-Truly-Asia parts were the first scenes of the film, where the audience were shown shots of various people in several parts of Malaysia practicing the local tradition of their races, whether it's of Indian culture, Malay, or Chinese. Then there's the DJ Harry band with members of all Malaysian races. Then there's the Manglish dialogues used by the characters in film. Then we see Yati slipping her shoes off before going inside the house, and when the band members had financial problems, they eat Maggie Mee, which is the cheapest food you can get around, but only in Malaysia. These are little things that may slip out of your mind, but these little things indicate that Spinning Gasing does not categorize as one of those Hollywood- scripted films played by local actors. It puts in every bit of Malaysian tradition in it, whether that tradition is something huge the world already knows, or the little things that makes each Malaysian watching the film think, Hey, I do that too.'
Another thing I noticed about Spinning Gasing is how often it depicts its situations through symbolism. Some people find it quite annoying when a movie starts telling stories in metaphors, but for others, like myself, it is actually something quite different and interesting. One of the first obvious metaphoric scenes were when a vertical high-angle shot of Yati and Harry afloat in a pool were taken, faces up, wearing traditional batik, holding hands, and then their hands broke apart and Yati slowly drifted away from Harry, indicating their current vulnerability and the loosening of their childhood bond, because they don't have that kind of relationship anymore. The traditional Malay song and dance of the Ulek Mayang' that tells the tale of unrequited love also reflects upon...
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