Monday, 3 February 2014

Tua Selama Ya (MAJESTICA)

Before you continue reading this blog, please be reminded to be open-minded to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and suggestions. If you can't handle them, just leave as I'm about to embark on a critical review writing. 

This is not a normal thing for me to do, commenting or reviewing a music video especially a Dayak music video. Yes, you heard me! So, why do I decide to do it? Well, it's something worth mentioning honestly. I'm sure many of you can relate to words such as cheap, awkwardcheesyhilarious and many more when talking about Dayak MVs. Always the typical scenes like sitting and singing on a huge rock at the beach, some lustful couples chasing one another in a garden, a group of alluring ladies dancing to the dangdut beats at the pub (Yes, pub and not club), husband and wife throwing stuff at each other in the longhouse and any possible whacky scene you could imagine! That doesn't include the bizarre and comical lyrics yet. Don't believe me, watch them on Youtube. So, do you see where this is going? I know people always meant for the MVs to be pure entertainment, but how do they reflect the mentality of a particular community? People like us can easily accept it as what it is, but how about those who are foreign to our lifestyle?

For many years there were calls by local music fans to bring change to the Dayak music industry but it seemed like we still watched the same lame storyline and ludicrous MVs. Not until the emergence of some indie bands and new generation of singers that we began to see the evolution took place. The variation we experience today is a combination of strong concoction between fresh ideas, new talents and technologies. The current generation has since become the pioneer of numerous creative artwork, not only in terms of songwriting but also album graphic design, videography, photography and the list goes on. 

So, let's get back to the main topic. I would like to review on a music video entitled TUA SELAMA YA by MAJESTICA. Consider this an honour okay because I normally wouldn't do this for any music video, including those from Hollywood. I just don't have the time. This time I choose to give credits to the creative minds who worked tirelessly in and behind the scene to produce an Iban MV that is sui generis. When I first watched the beginning of this MV, the initial word that popped into my head was "WOWWW!!!". Like I was truly impressed and I just thought to myself this one would definitely leave a lasting impression. 

But then... I saw this!

It reminded me of Belle (a character in the Disney's animated movie, Beauty and the Beast) lost in the wood and found this almost abandoned castle. 

Next, the band members appeared on my screen one by one. Then, I started to wonder what just happened to the Disney's movie castle. Who dwelled in it? 

So the singing continued... (Maloney looking hot as ever)

and the Princess appeared (the female character did look good eh, lucky for men).

Next, The Prince (I wish upon the stars the male character looked like Loki of Asgard. 
Sorry to disappoint you girls, I know it's not fair).

Then, BAMMM!!! 
Came the major D-I-S-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N
The W.A.I.T.E.R. 
This is the main thing I wish to highlight in this music video. I'll justify this later.

Seriously, at this point I felt like watching Travel & Living Channel or Food Network already. 
What's up with the wine-pouring skill?
How is it relevant to the Romeo-Juliet tragic love story?

Yeah, some more... killing me softly baby... 

Cheers mate!

I just didn't get it. Why so much emphases were given to this supporting character? 

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Before I move on, I want to discuss on the WAITER. Or BUTLER, whichever suits your taste. He is a major distraction in the music video.  I just didn't see how he could be significant in the story development. The music video main characters could undoubtedly develop the story on their own until the end without him. When I first watched this video, I quickly got into the mood because of the lyrics, the music and the emotions emanated by the band members. When the Prince and Princess (that's how I interpreted the main characters) appeared, the story began to unfold. Everything was so lovely, romantic, perfect until the waiter showed up. As I watched and scrutinised the video a couple of times, I realised the main characters were overshadowed by the large amount of focus the waiter received. You could really see in these still images more lights were shone on the waiter rather than the main characters. It seemed like the Prince and Princess were hid behind the vignette on purpose. So, the story of Tua Selama Ya actually revolves around whom? The royal couple or the waiter? Focus is important in a story. 

Apart from that, I find the wine-pouring skill, the sheet-spreading skill and the serving skill are superfluous. Don't we all watch enough of food channels on paid television network? We know how wine tasted. I can even come up with a video on how to make a shepherd pie or cream of mushroom soup if I want to. The cooking skills are a lot more complicated I bet. Yeah, thinking of food makes me hungry, slurp! Oh, sorry, where were we?

So, whether the waiter present or not in the music video, the main characters still can make it enjoyable to watch. I mean when you are already 'in the mood' during a romantic rendezvous and suddenly your best friend comes budging in trying to tell you the match between Sarawak and Kelantan is on, how does that feel? Not fun. But like it or not, you just have to 'shoo' him out of the room and continue from where you left. So, that was basically what happened when I watched the MV for the first time. My mood just went from Wow ---> Lovey Dovey ---> WTH ---> Sad ---> That's-it-? See the bug there? 

This waiter thing to me is like a Hollywood actress wearing a Karl Lagerfeld's beautiful evening gown but suffering a major wardrobe malfunction just because of excessive accessories, ugly make-up and not putting on matching heels. If you know what I mean. 

* * * * * * * *

Of course, the best awkward moment was when I caught the actress chewing something while smiling! Oh My Gum... shouldn't you spit it out before the camera rolled? 
Manners ladies, it ain't looking good for a Princess!

The MV is a brilliant artwork (in Dayak music context) with the help of visual effects. 

However, I'm not sure if the scene of cutting wrist is appropriate for the underage to watch considering your die-hard fans come from all ages. Would this MV be categorised as P13 or 18 under the television content rating system if it is to be aired on television? You never know, some people can be fanatic. Not even Justin Bieber wished to take the blame for his Beliebers' unpredictable behaviours. 

Hence, I rated this music video Tua Selama Ya four and a half stars (out of five). Finally we have a music video that is close to MTV quality. I personally think it's an impressive and compelling efforts from both Majestica and crews who involved with the video-making. They really set the bar so high and this is just their first music video. Besides, the song is awesome too. If this music video doesn't get nominated for any local music awards, people will be wondering and definitely questioning (I will). I hope their standard will encourage others to strive harder in producing good quality music video and song. Who knows, people might think it's worthy to invest their hard earned money on local music especially on original CD, VCD and DVD. Enough with the cheapskating and piracy. 

Lastly, please bear in mind this is a critical review. Not any sort of personal attack on the band or the crews. I look at it from the Literature point of view, if you were a language student you would know what I'm saying. My analysis is solely on the characters and storyline, not the actors and actress. Besides, you ought to know I like Majestica too. Heart 'em and their songs. For further information regarding this band, do visit their Facebook Page