Monday, February 26, 2018

Movie Review: Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba (2017)

Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba (2017): Tombiruo is a troubled young man, deformed, dutiful and burdened with powers that do not bend to his will. The tragic death of his father causes Tombiruo to seek revenge and punish those responsible.

My rating: 4/5 stars (★)

 Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba is a film adapted by a novel with the same title, written by Ramlee Awang Murshid in 1998. It was released during early October this year and managed to get high ratings from its viewers, especially from readers of Ramlee Awang Murshid’s novels. Directed by Seth Larney, Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba is a story of man with a deformed face who lives in the forest with his father. He has to wear a mask to hide his face, and he was cursed with a power that he cannot control when anger consumes him. The death of his father causes him to become overwhelmed with rage and vengeance.

I have not read the novel by Ramlee Awang Murshid, so my review will be solely based on the film itself. On a scale from zero to five, I would give Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba a four, simply because I love most of the elements displayed in the film, but there are parts that seem a little bit off. Ejim, or known as Tombiruo by the locals who believed him to be a spirit that takes care of the forest, is portrayed by Zul Ariffin. Even without the need to show his face throughout the film, Zul Ariffin managed to bring alive Ejim’s character greatly, further proving the impressive skills as an actor. Not to be missed, Farid Kamil as Amiruddin and Nabila Huda as Wan Suraya, whose characters played large roles in shaping Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba as a good film. 

Family and greed are two of the main themes being focused on in the film. Through Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba, audience can clearly see that the loss of a family brings a lot of sorrow to a person; Ejim lost his father, while Amiruddin lost his wife and father-in-law. Both of them lost their family due to a murder tragedy, causing both to be consumed with the need to have revenge. While Wan Suraya is caught up with the need to find a scoop as a journalist, she ends up caught between the mess that surrounds Ejim and Amiruddin. Her curiousity and bravery are definitely admired by me, thought at some point I feel like she should have just stayed quiet. The element of greed can be felt during the second half of the film, when the audience is slowly being exposed to the real culprit.

Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba took place in Sabah, thus it shows a lot of dialogues in the Coastal Kadazan dialect. For someone who rarely hears dialects from East Malaysia, it is absolutely interesting to listen to. The film also exposes that some of the people living there still believe in spirits of the forest, and their beliefs should not be taken advantage of.

No matter how great a film is, there will definitely be a flaw in it. All in all, I do enjoy watching Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba, but I feel that Ejim’s power is a little bit too over the top. Especially during the second half of the film, when Ejim saves Wan Suraya from an explosion, even though he falls unconscious after so, there seems to be no wounds or burn marks. I feel that the part is rather unrealistic. But even so, it did not make the movie bad since it is only a small fraction of the whole story. I may be a little oblivious, but the twist at the climax of the story, when Ejim and Amiruddin’s connection is revealed, I may have been very surprised. I cannot find the relation at first, how both men are connected, so when the truth is revealed, I appreciated it a lot.

I will definitely recommend Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba to everyone, especially if you enjoy action films. This film combines the element of action and the traditional belief of local Malaysians, which I feel should be shown a lot more in future films.

P.S: This review was written on 09/12/2017 for a subject in uni.

Till next time ♡ Love, Maira

Post a Comment