Nam Ron, a graduate in theatre, made his first feature-length digital movie, GEDEBE: Siapa Bunuh Caesar? (Gangsters: Who Killed Caesar? 2003). It was based on his own stage play that was staged at ASWARA from where he graduated. The film carried the tagline: Suara Anak Mudah Tentang Masyarakatnya (The Voice of Youth about Society). Produced by Amir Muhammad and lensed by James Lee, the film had fledgling actors who are now respected names in the industry: Hariry Jalil (as Caesar), Zul Huzaimy (Brutus) and others like Sofi Jikan. The film’s story was an exploration of the numerous controversies (involving UMNO, Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim in the late 1990s) with a premise related to a quote from Mahathir who in turn quoted Brutus in Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR: “It’s not that I love Caesar less but that I love Rome more”. I’m still trying to figure this out (!) but it was in relation to someone (was it Anwar?) who quoted the line and Mahathir disagreed with it.

The introduction to the story illustrated Nam Ron’s disdain of politicians and their shenanigans. He had two groups of punks and skinheads (that’s how bad he thinks they are!) setting up chairs, then there is a disagreement and a free-for-all fight ensues. It’s not difficult to decipher what chairs here mean. They are related to politicians scrambling to get into parliament using whatever means they may have including violence.

Nam Ron followed this up with GADOH (2009) co-directing it with Brenda Danker. Again Nam Ron introduced new actors such as Zahiril Adzim & Amerul Affendi who have since made it in the industry. The film was a Chinese versus Malay ruckus in a secondary school all due to prejudice arising from misconceptions. Needless to say, it was banned by the Censors. But when it was shown at HELP University to a full-house audience made up of Chinese and Malays, it certainly did not turn out to be ‘a threat to national security’. There were no riots in the hall. What followed after the screening was an intelligent discussion. Malaysians are actually a very intelligent lot contrary to what certain imbeciles are saying.

Nam Ron then directed LOLLIPOP, one of the shorts in the omnibus 15MALAYSIA (2009) produced by Pete Teo. It starred Bront Palarae who brilliantly played a paedophile, a condition brought about by childhood abuse. This childhood trauma thingies resurfaces in PSIKO PENCURI HATI – a case of Nam Ron’s subconscious repressions resurfacing unconsciously perhaps?

His next film JALAN PINTAS (2012) posed a question, the same one posed by P.Ramlee in many of his films: Why are the Malays who have succeeded not helping those who are struggling? If it happened in the time when we were colonised, why is it still happening when that we have (supposedly) attained to independence? What are we really independent from and is there something wrong with the system and who is responsible for it? The film didn’t see the light of day because the Censors wanted to make 18 cuts (the same number that a certain party’s assemblyman was cut into in the Mona Fandey case). It’s now available on DVD. Got get it!

Psiko Pencuri Hati

With his first cinema feature PSIKO PENCURI HATI now showing in the cinemas, Nam Ron continues to build on his previous films’ ideas and then takes it a little further. His guns (like James Lee in SINI ADA HANTU) are now trained on the Malaysian film audience. The clue is in the title itself (affirming & negating) and in the final scene of the film a few credits have scrolled up. The hero (Bront Palarae) and heroine (Sharifah Amani) and the hero’s mystery friend (Amerul Affendi) appear in a visual style opposite to that of the film just seen. Nam Ron deliberately subverts the genre to indicate to us that what had ensued for one and a half hours was all ‘a fiction’ and only happens in the mind of writers who think they are writers (read: Malaysian writers). The real stories are in broad daylight but are not noticed by them. Another reference is to the 1995 David Fincher film SEVEN with the hero being a novelist with seven novels to his credit.

For one and a half hours, Nam Ron feeds the audience with everything that they are used to seeing in a murder mystery: cinematography and lighting that point to the hero as a psycho; the tacit appearance of the police with their one and only appearance at the beginning of the film; numerous coincidences; purposely inane dialogue; a rifle; knives; blood and gore (including the heroine and kids also dishing it out!); a comedic and overweight resort owner with a sexy wife (a parody of American films of the like set in a remote area), and all psychos always having had problems during their childhood. If this is all an audience wants, then Nam Ron is giving it to them – and he does it with a hearty chuckle.

Nam Ron’s use of sound and music goes against the grain – as it should to achieve his ends (as Khir Rahman brilliantly did in ‘…Dalam Botol’ but got overlooked by the film festival jury who gave it to the silly Merong Mahawangsa). His cinematography and editing is meaningful and is far superior to most local films with elements of symbolism being in the right places as compared to the pretentiously-directed film, KIL whose visual look was at odds with the narrative. With PSIKO PENCURI HATI, Nam Ron has delivered a satisfying film like a veteran and is on his way to greater things - if the local audience just allows him! Unfortunately they seem to be flocking to the dud KL ZOMBIE! (Looks like the Malay audience are actually the zombies.)

Nam Ron is right after all with what he says in PSIKO PENCURI HATI.

Catch Psiko Pencuri Hati in cinemas nationwide.

**The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of

Psiko Pencuri Hati