If you like comedies with Jack Black, Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller, then Kabir Bhatia's "Setem" is your cup of tea. This is an action comedy that promises a fresh, unique experience, different from the previous love story movies that the director is synonymous with.

Riding on a simple enough plot about a hunt for an expensive postal stamp, "Setem" has a story (Kabir's solo try at a maiden script) that is attractive not only to Malay audiences but others too, with its sharp dialogue and clever execution. An entertaining cast consisting of old hands Aziz Sattar, Indi Nadarajah, Afdlin Shauki and Harun Salim Bachik help its cause, not to mention rising stars like Isma Yusof dan Diana Danielle. Kudos to Kabir for getting the best out of all 23 of his stars! 

The Afdlin Shauki-Rashidi Ishak combo hits the spot. Afdlin's role as Joe is easy and 'standard' so the better performance here is by Rashidi, with his simple and effective acting. Debutant Isma Yusof plays an Indon immigrant exceedingly well and doesn't look out of place despite being surrounded by big names. However, special mention goes to Sathia who made his name through TV's "Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu" - his was a colourful and humourous performance as Vellu the security guard. 

On technical aspects however, Kabir holds on too strong to his advertising-type camerawork throughout the movie. This extreme neatness in angles and perspective can get rather boring because it's just like watching an advertisement on TV so why try so hard to think of beautiful show-off shots? The co-editing with Faizul Mohd Noh is commendable for its accuracy and detail when changing scenes but Kabir really ought to do something about the obsession with advertisement-like camerawork.

"Setem" enjoys a lot of advantages over the other Malay movies we have been watching of late. However, in true Tayangan Unggul tradition, the impact of this film diminishes as soon as it decided to go on for a couple more scenes when it should have stopped at a particular point. Why stretch and convolute an already excellent story? Let's have a break from this annoying overshooting, please?


PART 11