Sunday, 22 June 2008

a thought piece on P.Ramlee - the Musical, by siti ruqaiyah hashim

i didn't know how to react when i saw this piece in Berita Minggu today. Maybe someone can enlighten me. sigh.

Muzikal P Ramlee teater untuk orang muda?

CATATAN dalam buku program Muzikal P Ramlee - Kehidupan, Cinta dan Inspriasinya (ditulis sebahagian besarnya dalam Bahasa Inggeris) mengatakan teater ini hiburan semasa yang sesuai untuk orang muda. Saya kurang pasti apa dimaksudkan oleh Tiara Jacquelina dalam prakata buku program muzikal ini. Apapun, Enfiniti Productions memberikan persembahan teater yang amat menghiburkan dengan lakonan, penataan seni, lampu, kostum dan set yang cukup tergilap dan bermakna di Istana Budaya baru-baru ini.

Persembahan teater ini cukup bermakna kerana P Ramlee tidak pernah menekuni teater dan drama tetapi menghabiskan seluruh jiwa raga dan kehidupannya kepada filem. Sayang sedikit, tiada usaha seumpama ini daripada penggiat filem untuk mengingati P Ramlee walaupun sudah lebih 35 tahun beliau kembali ke rahmatullah melalui medium filem. Tetapi mengangkat kehidupan dan kerjaya seni P Ramlee dalam satu pentas muzikal yang menarik adalah suatu usaha bertepatan dan harus dipuji.

Pun begitu, kenapa tiada sedekah Al-Fatihah untuk Arwah Tan Sri P Ramlee sebelum pementasan dimulakan? Perdana Menteri pun mengajak khalayak membaca Al-Fatihah ketika bercakap mengenai P Ramlee sewaktu perasmian Hari Seniman pada 29 Mei lalu. Jadi apa salahnya kita menghormati jasa Seniman Agung itu melalui persembahan teater yang baik menerusi acara menghadiahkan Al-Fatihah kepada Allahyarham?

Persembahan teater ini mempamerkan lakonan beberapa peneraju utamanya yang cukup baik. Melissa Saila sebagai Norizan begitu meyakinkan dan mahir mempamerkan berbagai laras emosi yang berbeza tanpa perlu berusaha banyak. Norizan yang bahagia sewaktu baru mengahwini P Ramlee, cemburu yang cuba disembunyikan dengan sebaik-baiknya tetapi tidak berjaya sama sekali, pengasih dan amat prihatin tentang kebajikan suaminya dan akhir sekali kesunyian yang tidak berdaya dibendung kerana bersuamikan seorang P Ramlee kepunyaan ribuan peminat.

Cuma nada suara dan intonasi Melissa sedikit mengejutkan dan tidak sesuai ketika membaca isi kandungan telegram kepada P Ramlee mengumumkan beliau akan tiba di Singapura tidak lama lagi.

Kenapa tidak dibuat dengan nada suara lebih perlahan dan romantik?

Babak ketegangan pertengkaran antara Norizan dengan P Ramlee dalam teater ini mempamerkan letusan emosi yang kelihatan cukup spontan tetapi terkawal dan sangat natural. Pun begitu, babak ini boleh menjadi lebih berkesan dan cantik jika ketegangannya ‘dibina dari bawah’.

Liza Hanim sebagai Saloma juga cukup baik dan meyakinkan. Babak percintaan Saloma dengan P Ramlee baik dan menggelikan hati melihat kegugupan kedua-duanya. Ia sangat natural kerana seperti yang pernah dilalui semua orang, walau sudah berapa kali pun kita jatuh cinta, kegugupan sama akan dilalui dan dirasakan ketika mula-mula mahu menyatakan perasaan kepada orang dicintai. Cuma Musly Ramlee begitu kuat berusaha mahu ‘menjadi’ P Ramlee bukan mahu memainkan watak P Ramlee seperti sepatutnya.

Pelakon utama lain juga berkesan, meyakinkan dan natural menerusi watak masing-masing.

Muzik garapan Roslan Aziz ada kalanya terlalu kuat dan menyebabkan pelakon perlu menjerit walaupun menggunakan mikrofon pentas. Ini terjadi dalam babak P Ramlee menaiki kereta api menuju ke Singapura dan lain-lain.

Penataan lampu dan set walau bagaimana pun cukup baik dan kreatif terutama babak kereta api dalam perjalanan ke Singapura.

Hanya dinamisme babak ke babak teater ini terlalu pantas dan ‘mencungapkan’. Produksi teater ini mampu meninggalkan pengalaman emosi yang jauh lebih mendalam dan menimbulkan empati dan bukan setakat simpati kepada P Ramlee di saat-saat duka beliau.

Tapi analisis skrip dan watak yang jauh lebih dalam dan terperinci amat perlu untuk tujuan itu.

Mungkin perkara paling membuatkan saya terkilan ialah ‘jiwa’ teater ini terlalu keras berbau Broadway dan West End. Imej West Side Story begitu ketara dan menonjol dalam tarian dan juga gesture lakonan yang agak kebaratan. Sesungguhnya budaya memainkan peranan penting dalam perlakuan seseorang. Jadi, apabila watak Junaidah sedang ‘menyabung’ (mengangkat kaki sambil tidur meniarap) adalah sedikit ofensif dari sudut budaya Melayu. Sesuatu yang amat tidak wajar dalam kita menghormati P Ramlee ikon seni negara dan bangsa Melayu tersohor dan tiada galang gantinya. Ia mungkin tidak menjadi salah dalam hukum berteater tetapi beberapa penonton celik teater mengatakan perkara sama.

below this, i have the text from my executive producer's message in the P.Ramlee Musical programme book that Siti can't seem to understand. my 8 year old son had an opinion to share after reading my message, and we debated the challenges i mentioned in the piece, but it obviously went over some other people's heads... what to do, what to do?

tiara's executive producer's message :

When producing a subject as highly loved and respected as P.Ramlee, we can only hope to make the story work for his many, many fans and aim to produce a good representation of his life and at the same time add a touch of creativity so it's attractive, entertaining and "today" enough for a young audience.

It's unbelievable that Malaysia has undergone so many changes and yet today, 35 years after the passing of P.Ramlee, his films still make you laugh and cry, and everyone can sing along to all his songs and quote lines from his films, as if his words have been etched in our minds indelibly.

On the night of our final performance at the Esplanade in Singapore, we're having a team huddle backstage 15 minutes before curtains go up. It's been a very challenging week, with technical rehearsals running for 14 hours a day. The cast and ensemble are still on a high from receiving nightly standing ovations, yet I can tell they are running on reserve battery by now. Guys, I said, we're almost at the finishing line, we can see the goal right in front of us, let's end with a huge bang! Remember why we're doing this. This is our tribute, as the Anak Seni who have inherited the legacy of the great Master we never met. We're doing this so people will know his story, why he is such a legend, so that no matter how we evolve as a nation, P.Ramlee's name will never be forgotten.

P.Ramlee reminds us about the challenges of being an artist and achieving greatness – you are loved and revered in your moment of glory, and you are all alone in your moment of despair. His story is also a lesson for us about how art can only survive and thrive in an enabling and supportive environment. Recognition and accolades mean very little when it's too late.

Our hope is that when the curtains come down, every one of you will leave Istana Budaya feeling lifted, and for those who miss and love P.Ramlee as much as we do, a joyful sense of reminiscence.

Laugh, cry and enjoy…

5 comments:

big easy said...

typical of mainstream media so-called reviewers. i was at the media preview of sepi and during the media conference, only a handful of questions were asked. one of them posed this to kabir - "did you put an extra effort on sepi as compared to cinta?". i think kabir was really amused and tried to find words to answer such questions.

really. the mainstream media should 'make an effort' be on par with films before even reviewing a theatre performance.

duh.

Becky Ng said...

Typicallah to see things like that from the media but don't let anything pull your spirits down......

Shahrul Hafiz Teh said...

let her says and comment...but the audience had says enough with their attendance

ms hart said...

Let's not waste our energy and positive vibes on small minds. Ever wonder why they don't grow?

pearl said...

Theatre, art, film and other related stuff are really subjective matter, every individu see it with a different eye, different nose and different ear. Its more to a personal opinion and view. Nothing is wrong or right, but we definitely can learn with every comment and critics.
And i personally think that media should carry more responsibility and role to support local creative work and educate the readers.

enough said, there are many of us who support your effort, energy, creative and as a malaysian i am proud to be able to witness such a great work! Not many people have the drive to do what you have did. They just can say but zero action! Job well done to you and P Ramlee team!
Psst, i was born on 29/5/73, 35 years back when everyone were mouring for the loss of the great P Ramlee. Al Fatihah..