A film review: '5 Broken Hearts'

Oleh / By: Iki.Ali

Director, screenplay, producer: Ezzah Mahmud
Genre: Documentary
Starring: Aleena Isa, Izzati Shahirah, Leo Huzair,
Faridah Mahmud, Nadiah Sabry
Release: 2013
Studio: Dark Light Productions
Well, this is the first. A documentary review. And the first English review for a local film, since its language is primarily in English. How the hell do I do this? By judging its participants or something? Or just write whatever that's necessary or related to the intent of this particular one? I choose the second option, please.

Apparently, I got bored. And my heart feels... pretty empty for no particular reason (no deep shit or anything... just... y'know... empty) all of a sudden, probably because I thought I was soulless. Adding a kick in the nuts to that fact, I also felt kind of like a jerk for having to finally watch this much trended and talked about documentary that my junior made (yes, a WRITING student, go about making a DOCUMENTARY FILM, as opposed to ME, a FILM student, didn't do jack as of yet... except for slacking off at even the easiest yet mentally demanding job as a time code keeper and a script 'goreng-er'... so sad, yeah?) and was made as an entry for the already passed KaryaOne Awards 2013 (awards ceremony previously mentioned on my double review of two upcoming films) and was even in the running for the Best Documentary Award, but apparently lost to a graffiti-themed documentary film called Legalize It...  due to my ego finally allowing me to watch it. There, confession time.

Alas... another possibly uninteresting opening. Just do your shit, dude...

An obvious inspiration, ain't it?
Apparently, the title of this independent documentary is admittedly said by the director herself to be inspired by a well-known documentary that we watched together on the same screening night at our faculty called 5 Broken Cameras, where its director, Emad Burnat (pictured in the poster, the top guy obviously), with the aid of Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi (not present in the poster), took it upon himself to record, in mostly his first-hand viewpoint, the struggles his village of Bil'in, Palestine and the people in its vicinity has to face as they perpetrate a series of protests as a response to the fact that their living place is unwillingly trespassed by the Israeli as part of their ongoing effort in constructing the Israeli West Bank barrier. And the details surrounding this event is recorded with the titular cameras; where one camera represents one year that has passed since the invasion of sorts on their humble village started.

It is based on this concept of 'one camera captures a thousand stories' that I think made the 5 Broken Hearts' director to arise this thought bubble on her head; "A person definitely holds greater amount of memories than mere cameras that may break anytime... so why not ask someone... no, FIVE persons on how they are coping with THEIR OWN struggles with their own hearts when it got invaded?" And so... here it is.

Basically, adhering exactly to the title, 5 Broken Hearts is a very simple, yet effective documentary where each participants, the... umm... 5 broken hearts simply share with the audience each of their own individual spin on the subject given to them. Technique wise, it simply utilises the 'talking head' approach, and simply throw in appropriate music and related clip (which came from a totally awesome movie, I might add) to establish the intended mood... and let the participants do their thing; confessing their hearts and minds out about their experience on the given topic with mostly a potential significant other and how it affects them as a person and how are they holding up to it. No fancy-ass shaky cam, stupid filters, needless screen effects or anything like that... just basic cutting points and transitions. No flashbacks either... because it doesn't need one (and also probably to save some time since the director IS doing this partially for the KaryaOne Awards). Just an honest-to-goodness collection of confessions. All of the participants never seemed to hold back any of their past fears and frustrations on the path of a honest never-meant-to-be relationships, and I guess that's what made the documentary work; especially to those who actually worn the same shoes as they did, and then some. If there are any faults in the technical department, I'd say... screw it. I only care about the stories. And boy did the director ticked these 5 guys off and give us a story to ponder upon.

And that's about it. Although very simple in concept, and is something that most people have probably experienced and has grew tired off, hat tip off to my dearest junior for still believing in her heart that a broken heart can be fixed... by breaking it apart again and let the audience fix it, so that they can experience what everyone in the production have experienced regarding the documentary's subject matter.

Are you convinced with anything I'm saying here about this documentary? No? Then look it up on YouTube. It's out there... or if you're lazy, it's up there. Go on. Cry like a little bitch after watching it, and think about how everything in this world happens for a reason. :)

P/S: I wonder if I can be a good role model to my younglings by producing my own thing... whatever it maybe? Pray that I can and WILL produce something as good as this one! Amin.

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