A Day At The Movies

Last night, after a slap-up ‘moré’ and a couple of exquisite cigars with some of the good old boys from MRSM, I went home and retired for the night. With the finish from the Monte Cristo No.2 still lingering in my mouth, I drifted off to an uneasy sleep.

In no time, I was transported into a dream-world; an alternate reality where there was no way of sifting between the absurd from the real. In that nebulous reality, I found myself in a movie theatre (I think they are called ‘cineplexes’ now) with scores of other people watching a very popular movie. It was a special movie: The entire cast of characters consisted of four legendary bad guys from yesteryear. I distinctly recall Shariff Dol, S Kadarisman, Shariff Melan, and the big-daddy of them all – Salleh Kamil.

As one would expect from such a line-up, the movie was a swirling mass villainy and an unending catalogue of nasty deeds. S Kadarisman played a mafia don; a Don Corleone of sorts, with an almost comical penchant for nodding off to sleep. His deputy was played by the portly, but oddly dashing, Shariff Dol who was obsessed with the use of explosives in solving his problems. In addition to this, Shariff Melan played a power-hungry homosexual who tries very hard to pass himself off as a knight in shining armour, and who is hell-bent on usurping S Kadarisman’s power and position. Last but not least, Salleh Kamil (arguably the most sinister of the lot) played the Don’s son-in-law, a scheming Oxford-trained young upstart, intent on whacking the whole lot of them by biding his time and pulling whatever strings he needs to pull so that he will eventually win everything on the table.

After almost 80 minutes of villainy and counter-villainy, with each character blissfully engaged at playing political silly buggers (and at least in one case, actual outright buggery), the movie was nowhere near a conclusion than when it started. I was beginning to develop a bad taste in my mouth. One can only take so much of mindless intrigue before one feels an overwhelming need to regurgitate one’s dinner. That was when I looked around me: I freaked-out when I discovered I was the only one left in the cineplex. Looking back at the screen, it was still full of the four bad guys, trying to out do each other.

Consumed by a mindless fury of my own, I stood up and began shouting, “BUT WHERE ARE THE GOOD GUYS!” at an uncaring screen, over and over again. That was when I got up. It was time for ‘sahur’.

For the rest of the day, I was haunted by the question, “But where are the good guys?” And I suspect, this question will still continue to hound me (and the rest of the country) for a long time to come. Perhaps this is a sign telling me I should go back to playing with my beloved fountain pens and maybe write a book review or two.

After all, nowadays, they don’t make good black-and-white movies anymore, do they? Along the same lines, it is entirely plausible that they don’t make good guys anymore, too. We just don’t know this yet.

21 thoughts on “A Day At The Movies

  1. dear mb,
    i have answered this q on my blog(in response to yr comments). the good guys are people like you and frnds who shy away from active politics. because they recognise the debauchery that takes place in the murky world of politics. the good guys are people like you who cultivate yourselves and pull yrselves up using yr own bootstraps. i have seen too many good guys fall behind because they are too refined. but good guys will always maintain more than a passing interest in whats going on, using whatever means necessary to voice out. keep writing my friend.


    Thank you, sir, for your kind reply. I was a somewhat abashed when I read it. But there you go; compliments aren’t easy to come by in my world.

    Nonetheless, I have posted this because I felt that the question (i.e. “But where are the good guys?”) is one that needs to be shared.

  2. At least yours is not that bad. I had a very dissapointing one a few days ago, but since this is a ‘non-adult content’ blog, its not appropriate for me to relate them. Maybe after I’ve finished Sigmund Freud’s ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ I could be able to tell whether the dream was triggered by the tale of Halle Barre from a friend currently in Djibouti negotiating with the pirates to secure the release of hostages from the two MISC vessels or the subconscious playing a trick on me. May we live another day for another dream as great things begin with a dream 🙂

    The Last Gig

    Subconscious trick or not, I bet you that was a peach of a dream you had, my friend!

  3. “Di Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang” is a new movie yang dibuat in black and white by Mamat Khalid. Kena tengok ni…tengok sama-sama lagi best…tunggu raya! Mesti masuk TV. Astro mesti ada. He..he..he..Macam mana industri filem Melayu nak maju, asyik nak tunggu dia keluar TV aje…


    But this Raya, you and Adik are going back to Kak Idah’s place in Ipoh. Never mind, we’ll just buy the CD lah…

  4. Sir,

    Yes, they don’t make good guys no more. Even the shows week in week out at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ , portrays villains as ‘heroes’. These actors are people that we love to hate. So, the question that begs an answer is, have our values changed or have they stopped making the good guys ?

    Pak Din

    How deliciously perceptive of you. Didn’t think of this: Have our value changed or have they stopped making good guys altogether? Perhaps a little of both. Our values have changed precisely because there aren’t any good guys anymore 🙂

  5. I wud add they were poor souls of malaya bro till the end.. alas some still wish many to keep smiling like tompel for having nothing more than a dime

    yeah where are the good caring guys heh

    Daeng Sulu

    You are probably right about the poor bit, bro. Ain’t it a crying shame that things had to be so?

    BTW one of my claims to fame was that once, when I used to live in Setapak Gardens, the late and great Tompel was my next door neighbour. I’m still glowing with pride because of this.

  6. btw i lost my suzie wong some time back. know where in the world i cud get a copy?

    Daeng Sulu

    You what?! Lost your Suzie Wong, did you? Someone nicked it?

    Saya tak bersalah… 🙂

  7. Mamak,
    Before good guys we call ‘Belia’ now they call ‘Nerd’
    Mana yang betul ni bro?
    Btw.Ar Tompel lagi macho!
    Kalau tak takkan dia dapat tackle Saloma dulukan.

    Pak Tuo

    That right, isn’t it? He get to Saloma first, didn’t he? Lucky sod!

  8. I once told a lady friend…Good guys are either dead or married 🙂

    The Last Gig

    Ah… I shall take it that you are married, then.

    Then again, another friend of mine (who remains unmarried) has postulated that all married men are as good as dead anyway 🙂

  9. MB,
    my favourite movie villain would be (the late) mahmud june… audience (back then in the 50s, 60s) actually hated him. they threw rubbish at him and cursed him at movie preview. they thought he was really “evil”.

    as for “good guys”, is there such a thingy? hahahahhaha!

    eh, raya kat mana bro?


    Mahmud June! My kind of guy! He reminds me it id best to shy away from being the good guy: Good guys always get his insides kicked-out. Its some kind of cosmic law

    This year Raya kat Melaka lah

    Have a good one yourself!

  10. all the good guys are busy enjoying things like food and woman (and ganja). missing out on other presumably more rewarding but destructive worldly things. but fuck it, who gives a fuck. good guys don’t give a fuck.

    mmm, nasi minyak ayam merah.

    tompel is badass!

    Hey, cool dude!

    The ‘good guys’ in your world get to do all that? Can I apply to be a ‘good guy’ in your world? I promise to be a good ‘good guy’. Please?

    Yes, bro! Tompel isone badass!

  11. I use to be a good guy going by the married men myth 🙂 Now, I guess I’ve turned into a bad guy.

    The Last Gig

    Have you? Are you sure?


  12. then, let the women rule. since the bad guys are well bad guys. the good guys are MIA.


    You mean women don’t already rule the world, ma’am? The last time I checked, women were already calling all the shots; admittedly, mostly from behind the scene – but they were (still are) calling the all shots.

    I have since resigned myself to this fact.

  13. good guys don’t exist, except may be on tv.


    But as Pak Din has observed, you hardly find any good guys – even on telly.

    Hang on a minute! How did this post turn into a man-bashing exercise? 🙂

  14. The a great majority of the good guys are dead lah Mat B… adalah tinggal sekeping dua yang still (to quote my late Opah).. boleh dibawak ketengah..

    Puteri Kamaliah

    “… sekeping dua…” 🙂

    Looks like I’ve inadvertently opened a can of worms here…

  15. Good guys are not that interesting nor exciting, even in black and white.

    Kak Teh

    Hmmm, come to think of it, good guys are kinda dull…

    I guess this is why girls tend to fall for the bad guys and leave the good guys ‘menggigit jari’, eh?

  16. good or bad, what’s important is that the guy is funny.


    Thanks for the tip. I am thus, going to reinvent myself and become a ‘funny bad guy’. Now, that’s a new concept. Sounds awkward, though…

  17. you can model yourself after ahmad nisfu.


    Delicious! I shall now re-brand Bangkai based on the Ahmad Nisfu model. Now, why didn’t I think of that?

  18. Bang,
    Slamat hari raya! Have a great celebration with faimly & friends 🙂

    and a lagu raya for you old man…

    P. Ramlee – Suara Takbir

    Dengar beduk berbunyi
    Sayup bergema di subuh sunyi
    Memanggil kepada muslimin
    Segera berbakti kepada Illahi

    Suara azan mengalun
    Terdengar sayup memecah sunyi
    Memohon restu dengan bakti
    Kepada Illahi Tuhan Maha Suci

    Terdengar suara takbir
    Memuji nama Illahi
    Rasa dalam kalbu
    Tenteram dan aman selalu

    Kini tiba masanya
    Hati gembira di Hari Raya
    Bertemu sanak dan saudara
    Bermaaf-maafan dengan keikhlasan


    Now look what you’ve done! You’ve gotten me all misty-eyed…

    That song! That must be one of the most touching and most enduring Raya songs ever.

    Thanks for the wishes, my friend. The same gos out to you, too.

  19. Bro,

    Seperti yang I duga, Di Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang akan ditayangkan kat Astro Prima Raya Pertama.

    Seperti yang you kata, I’ll be in Ipoh…

    Never mind, astro akan ulang tayang again and again and again…

    Kita tengok la ulang tayang tu nanti…together-gether…my place, of course…


    I might just take you up on that

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