Wednesday, September 20, 2017


By Mansor bin Puteh

It is startling how Malaysians who had never been known to misbehave themselves in public and more so now on social media, have taken it almost in total the way some lead characters in some Hollywood films had behaved in them, to copy exactly their ways and emotions that the Malaysians never had and never knew how to successfully express before, in similar dramatic and crass ways, without shame.

And personal and family matters that were once discussed and expressed in tight circles are now done in the open, not only on social media, but in the courts and sometimes, even in the streets, leading to deaths of some. How tragic!

Had they not been exposed to those films by Hollywood that value the so-called personal believes and styles, surely, Malaysians today would have been less dramatic and crude in their ways in dealing with personal matters and issues, some of which are so petty that they did not have to end in physical fights and deaths.

How sad!

It had come to this. That by mere watching those films from Hollywood that had even caused many Americans to be confused, could be copied in full by people who live halfway around the world and who might never get to Hollywood and America to realize that the films are for pure entertainment.

They may be not sure that the Americans in the films do not represent real characters in the streets.

And even the Americans, too, had been taken away by the sway of the magic of the cinema and Hollywood films to realize now that they had similarly been affected.

That American families in many or most of ALL American or Hollywood films have one child or at the most two children.

I cannot remember any American family in any American or Hollywood film having more than two children.

‘Partridge Family’ a popular American television drama serial showed a family with many members; but they were created when a widow and widower who had few children married.

And for a long while this matter had not been given much or any attention to the significance that it had brought about.

So no wonder most American couples since the 1970s if not earlier tended to also have one child or two children in their real lives.

And so now we also have many Malaysian families or couples having one child or two children at the most.

The Hollywood screenwriters could not handle families that are large; they do not know how to intertwine any story or plot that deals with many characters who are broods; they only know how to deal with them as those who stand apart from each other so more emotions can be thrown in, compared to those that members of the same close-knit American families could.

In the end, they are the ones who created this new thinking and forced them on the average Americans to adopt the concept.

And this also happened in Malaysia where their screenwriters have similar matters and issues to deal with that they just do not know how to weave a strong plot around families that are large.

What ‘Kramer Vs Kramer’ has got to do with the new thinking and new attitudes of many Malaysians anyway?

And now what ‘Apocalypse Now’ had managed to do to many Malaysians of all levels, and for that matter the many other Vietnam and Second World War films that Hollywood had made? A lot. But who could tell that whatever attitudes now they have of American troops and their adventures in the Gulf region and the Middle East are all shaped by their penchant for watching and extolling the virtues inherent in such films whose effects they hardly knew what they were, not that they are subliminal but obviously and so crudely.

Malaysians are not trained to appreciate films irregardless of where they come from, and much less to be able to read what is shown and what they meant.

These films are often hidden under the cloak of secrecy with shades of meanings only a few in the country could read. And those in the special branch and counter intelligence too are dumb not to know what they are and to be able to overcome whatever negative effects that they could inflict on the virile minds of many Malaysians, including the officers in such departments, and the psychologists.

These are but two films that Malaysians had seen that had caused untold damage to their psyche and psychology and attitudes and values.

There are more even from as far back as ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘Merry Poppins’, ‘Saturday Night Fever’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ and ‘James Bond’ and the many others.

It doesn’t take one much to study them and find where they stand in shaping the minds of Malaysians. And worse, why they had appeared all too suddenly when in the past, no such films and Hollywood ones had been shown to the public.

All this cannot be seen in total isolation but from the perspective of history, before and after the Second World War when foreign films (read: American or Hollywood films) started to make inroads into the country and with some major distribution companies establishing their base in Malaysia that eventually led to the demise of the local film industry otherwise known as the Old Malayan Cinema.

And in the process whatever that the Old Malayan Cinema then based in Singapore had established to promote the films the two major studios produced then, were all turned to help the cause of Hollywood.

The effects of such ugly transformation are on the constant attacks on our social, cultural and religious values that continued to regressed until it came to the present state, aided by the introduction of the internet and social media that allowed many to further serve the cause of the others to the detriment of their own that their ancestors had steadfastly held and promoted.

In the end it is not just films that Malaysians are watching but a self-degradation process they paid to get, that also enriched many in Hollywood