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“Mukhsin” Review – An Easy, Simple Tale March 7, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Movie Reviews, Movies, Mukhsin.


“Everyone has a first love story to tell.” This is the tagline to Yasmin Ahmad’s latest offering, “Mukhsin“, and couldn’t be closer to the essence of the film. It’s a movie a lot of people would relate to, not just about the young blossoming romance between the two characters, but just the other supporting characters in the film.

Just a brief synopsis regarding the movie: Orked (Sharifah Aryana), at a tender age of ten, finds a new friend in the twelve-year-old Mukhsin (Mohd. Syafie) , who has just moved into the neighbourhood. The friendship starts off a little rocky at first, but as the days pass, they spend more and more time together. A small misunderstanding results in them not speaking to each other – until Mukhsin moves away.

It’s as simple as that. There are supporting stories to the main tale, revolving around Orked’s slightly eccentric family, and their neighbour’s roving husband, to Mukhsin’s parents. But although all these seem to add more depth to the film, bringing an relaxed, easy-feeling when you’re watching it, the film doesn’t stray away from the original theme very often.

It’s nice to – for once – not have to psycho-analyze a film. The synopsis for “Mukhsin” sounds similar to “My Girl” (starring Macauly Culkin); but instead of the Western references, has been given a Malaysian flavour with its scenic kampung lifestyle and lovable ethnic characters. Where else would you find a film where a young Malay girl is shown as a student in a Chinese school, speaking and writing the language fluently? It’s a break away from normal local film, where filmmakers have constantly segregated the culture and races into their ethnic groups, bringing a sense of stereotype. Yasmin breaks away from that, as was seen in “Sepet”, “Gubra” and now “Mukhsin”.

The cinematography isn’t anything fancy, nor are there stunning special effects. And why not? What grips you more would be the chemistry between the characters – the way Orked and her mother (played by Sharifah Aleya) interact with one another; the relationship between Orked and her father. Orked isn’t a typical girl either; who gets bored with the typical girlish games and opts for playing sports with the boys instead – choosing her cat over dolls. Pink would be so proud (referring to the lyrics for “Stupid Girls”).

Look out for cameos from Sharifah Amani and Ng Choo Seong, in a scene which brings hints of a happy ending for “Sepet”, and local indie filmmaker Ho Yuhang, whose back is the only thing the audience sees, but his voice is recognizable instantly.

The music also plays a part in the film, especially when a French ballad, “Ne Me Quitte Pas” (Don’t Leave Me), sung by Nina Simone, was playing in a background as Orked’s parents are dancing happily; and the next scene which showed a sad Mukhsin standing outside the house watching them was simply heartbreaking. In contrast, the theme song, “Hujan” (Rain), which was written by Yasmin’s father, was played with a cheery, light tune, not unlike the feel of the film.

But, as the title of this review shows – it’s a simple tale. It’s nothing new, compared to numerous films from other countries, and it’s not something you would call a breakthrough in films. But although it’s an age-old formula in film, it doesn’t fall flat. It’s a film we would all relate to – we’ll laugh at the familiar jokes, we’ll wonder at the beautiful countryside scenery, and we’ll cry at the tender moments. It’s like a tapestry, woven together into a creation just short of a masterpiece, but still beautiful enough to be admired, to be revelled at.

And most noticeable was during the entire length of the film, Mukhsin never mentions to Orked about how he feels, letting such moments pass by him like a leaf in the wind.

But it’s still enjoyable, nevertheless, and brings a feeling of warmth, like a hot cup of Milo when you’re feeling hungry, or a hot bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick in bed with flu. “Mukhsin” may not blow you away, but it’ll definitely stir up some old, heartwarming memories in that closet of your soul.

The Drowmage rates this as : Stars 4

Other Drowmage News : Meeting the Cast of “Mukhsin”



1. zamri - March 11, 2007

a wonderful review.

yasmin seems to be cynical (at times),

“Kau memang pencemar budaya” –>when the naughty cat (featured earlier in iklan Hari Raya Petronas) beat a chicken .then brought out away 30 miles from the village.

i love it when they sang together ikan di laut asam di darat in the car. the recitation of the Holy Qoran verses is very soothing.

simple, well-composed, magical.

2. Mr. Haxa Does The Blogs - March 12, 2007

Review: Yasmin Ahmad’s Mukhsin

To me, Mukhsin is Yasmin Ahmad’s best work to date. Compared to her previous work’s of Rabun, Sepet, and Gubra; I think Mukhsin is the one that cross over to mainstream audience and further adds to her credibility as one of Malaysian’s great storyte…

3. As Suanie Sees It - mukhsin - orked’s first and memorable love - March 12, 2007

[…] MUKHSIN reviews: Sultan Muzaffar, Budiey, KlubbKidd, The Drowmage, Ted’s […]

4. Fazleena - March 13, 2007

Gotta be the best review I’ve ever read.

5. drowmage - March 13, 2007

zamri: Thanks! Yes, those scenes were good, and not something you’d expect in a movie. It seems pointless at first, but somehow they stick in your mind, and adds character to the film.

Fazleena: Thank you so much! 🙂

6. Lim - March 24, 2007

I enjoy the movie. It brings back memories of yesteryears, when one first experiencing ” love”.

7. Sharifah Amani goes bald « Uncommon Magic - June 13, 2007

[…] television commercial of Petronas, as well as her previous works of Sepet (2004), Gubra (2005) and Mukhsin (2006), each had their share in winning numerous international and local industry’s […]

8. liz - March 2, 2009

how can I get this movie?

9. liz - March 2, 2009

is it available in Canada?

10. drowmage - March 6, 2009

Hi Liz – I’m not sure how else you could get it outside of Malaysia – probably through Amazon :

I know if you ever get a chance to come to Malaysia or Singapore, you could pick it up in most of the video stores here.

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