Monday, September 17, 2012

News - Telemovie "Melodi Cinta Sarikei" - Love at first tune

When news of a telemovie loaded with local TV celebrities surfaced, it was greeted with raised eyebrows. The eagerly awaited telemovie, Melodi Cinta Sarikei (The Melody of Love, Sarikei) graced the airwaves on 15th Sep 2012 at 12noon.

The relaxed rural life of "Sarikei".
Actually the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching

It was filmed in Sarawak (mostly in Kuching and some parts in Sarikei) from 7-16th Feb 2012 with actors/actresses from KL and Sarawak.

Sarikei Welcome gantry, 2012
Source: TVi

TVi (Channel 180 Astro) is a digital television station owned by the RTM (Radio Television Malaysia). It is a 24-hour station which started on 10th April 2011. It is an initiative by the Federal Government, Sarawak and Sabah to bring about a deeper understanding of the people of East Malaysia.

 Sarikei Repok Road's traffic lights, 2012
Source: TVi

TVi focuses on life in Sabah and Sarawak, culture and ethnic songs of the various races, documentaries, history and plans. TVi also has 24-hour live streaming online at their website with daily program listed on the sidebar.

 Sarikei Rejang Wharf Terminal 1, 2012
Source: TVi

 Inside an Orang Ulu longhouse to learn sape.

The telemovie was filmed mostly in KL and Kuching (mostly the Sarawak Cultural Village and down town Kuching when the stars "left Sarikei to tour Kuching"). The Sarikei scenes seen so far were merely edited into it.

Orang Ulu expert that taught the sape

There were other discrepancies in the movie. There's no Orang Ulu long house in Sarikei with expertise to teach the sape. At one scene, a Bidayuh bamboo bridge from the Cultural Village was used as prop for the Iban longhouse. Anyway this is just a movie so let's just enjoy it.

Jasmin doing research on Sarawak culture

Jasmin was a cultural researcher from KL. Her dad was from Sarawak and piqued her interest in her roots. Jasmin and her vivacious pal, Melissa, made a visit to Sarikei in the interior of Sarawak to research the culture and customs of the Iban.

Leonna and Alex caught their first glimpses of the KL visitors

Jasmin and Melissa in an Iban long house

However their visit was met with a cold reception from the locals who thought they harboured a negative agenda. Jasmin wanted to learn the sape, an Orang Ulu musical lute with a trance like tune, from Alex, a local lad, who was initially also cold towards her.

Alex, the local lad with a love for the sape.

Meanwhile in KL, Jasmine's greedy fiance, Benjy, planned to take over her father's business with a sinister plot. Jasmine and Melissa went back to KL to meet Benjy and later came back to Sarikei to learn the sape despite Benjy's objections.

Benjy, Jasmin's fiance, the villian

Jasmin and Alex grew closer together while learning the sape, much to the chagrin of Leonna who had a crush on Alex. Baring, a competitor to Alex in the village also spread lies to made things worse for Jasmin.

Alex showing Jasmin the strings of the sape

 Alex bought Jasmin an Hawaiian ukulele

Leonna sulked while Alex played the sape.

While Jasmin, Melissa and Alex were touring Kuching, Benjy came to Sarikei to look for Jasmin. Leonna told Benjy about the love birds. Benjy flew into a rage and hatched a plan.

Leonna told Benjy about the love affair of his fiance.
The Bidayuh bamboo bridge used as a prop.
Not an Iban longhouse feature.

When the trio came back from Kuching, Bengjy told the villagers that their home land had been earmarked for development and then dragged Jasmin away.

What would happen to Jasmin and Alex in the face of adversity?

Would Alex still believe in Jasmin, now that he knew she was engaged and there's a "plot" to take away his ancestral land?

And now for the theme melody ...

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