Yasmin Ahmad’s Talentime

So a little background: the US gang is going through a Yasmin Ahmad/Talentime phase, as evidenced by posts from John and Zhi Wei and our plurks. (wtf i copied zhi wei’s link and only then did i find out that we used the same title. jinx!)

So John very nicely organized an outing to watch the movie in 1Utama. 11 of us showed up: beyond my expectations man.

Tumpang glamour: Ka Hoe (the Chinese boy) was my Moral student!

This isn’t gonna be another post about how great the movie was, etc. I thought it was a good movie, albeit too slapstick at times, but such was Yasmin’s humour — these blunt, almost crude jokes only add to the quaintness and cuteness and playfulness and fun(!) and lightheartedness of Yasmin’s works. Very her.

But what really struck me was Pete Teo’s “I Go.”

I teared when the the er-hu came in (e.g. at 2:32). I have something for stringed instruments; I’ve read somewhere that string vibratos eeirely and accurately represent the wails of a human voice. My favourite part of any movie is when the music comes on and the violin vibrates and the voice falters and my soul resonates with every crescendo and dances to every progression and my heart breaks into a wretched half-smile and I gasp for breath and grasp at beauty and tear.

It’s going to be my new favourite song, and I will be listening to it for at least 10 times every day for weeks on end.

Not only is the song very pretty, I also think that it is ultimately prescient.



So long, fare thee well
The dancer and the dancing days have taken leave and fell

But I can’t hear it here no more
And I go
I go

Hush now, don’t shake or break
Words have fallen silent like soldiers to the grave
No matter what they do or say
Lay me on the sleepy meadow by the tracks upon your face


It was at “I go-oh-oh-oh-oh-woh-oh-oh-oh” (2:18) when I got it. 领悟。Menerima wahyu.

It was almost like Yasmin Ahmad was speaking to us from the grave from the film.

“I go.”

She goes.

And no matter what the media can play up about her past, or how hard Najib tries to hijack her message (the cuteness: “Yerr the fella copy me!!!” from 0:19 to 0:40), she goes.

To a better place.

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim.

What foresight.

(Did she/Pete know that Talentime was to be her swansong?)

She goes.

But we stay. And her messages stay. And her movies stay. And her values, her ideals, her love stay with us.

And this is the point and beauty and genius of Yasmin. The idea of Yasmin Ahmad is greater than the person that was Yasmin Ahmad, and this Yasmin stays with us forever and ever and ever.

She goes.

But she stays.

In our hearts.

And it is beautiful.

And I love it.


So I thought that I wouldn’t join the tribute-to-Yasmin bandwagon, but I was compelled to write this lah.

Because the song spoke to my heart.


My favourite character was the Indian woman (Jac’s mother). I fell in love with her when she was joking around with her brother who was threatening to to burn some RM 100 notes if she didn’t take them. (She called his bluff.) Juxtapose that with her excellent portrayal of a tortured soul dealing with love and death and loss and letting go. Love it, love it.



you go

but you stay

with us


Filed under Blogroll, I like, Rants

2 responses to “Yasmin Ahmad’s Talentime

  1. yer. i’m jealous. nobody here who’d watch Talentime also, as proven by the empty cinema… haha. 😛

    and i agree with what you said on the character of Jac’s mom. I thought the scene where she loses it on her son was some pretty powerful stuff.

    i told you right. good movie. haha.

  2. The song was playing its own rounds in my head for days on end when I first watched the movies months ago. Loved the music, loved the tone, loved the scene.
    But entah kenapa the er-hu tune came back into my head after I found out that Yasmin Ahmad was admitted into the hospital. Little bit creepy.

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