Mendam Berahi (Review)

Mendam Berahi

Directed and written by Z. Lokman

Malaysian Charlie’s Angels! Yes, the Charlie’s Angels concept is so universal is seems to exist in every country on the planet. I bet there is even a Tongon Angels somewhere. This time the Angels go searching for lost treasure, which ends up with bloody gunbattles. And a little girl cries while singing. But who cares, gun battles! Chicks kicking butt! Malaysian women you’ve never heard of that Google won’t tell you anything about! It’s all here, and more!

“It just so happens that Mendam Berahi is an action flick and that the good guys are us girls. As soon as we started filming, people were already going, ‘Oh, it’s the Malaysian version of Charlie’s Angels.’ Okay, so that’s good for marketing, but it was targeted from the beginning as a pure action film.” Shaleen Cheah stated, in an argument that might hold water if Madam X didn’t refer to the girls specifically as Angels in the film.

The VCD jumps from widescreen to very widescreen, so black bars will lower and raise between shots, sometimes back and forth in the same scene. Due to the lack of information in English about Malay stars, I couldn’t provide much interesting facts, and you will have to make do with what I could pull off of gossip sites. I am not learning Malay just to do one review, especially since there are about a dozen other languages that I need to learn first. The credits give the country of origin of the players who aren’t from Malaysia, so it would say “Tracy Trinita (Indonesia)”, as opposed to Tracy Trinita (Paraguay), I guess.

Edsa (Shaleen Cheah) – Edsa is a tomboy and a tough martial artist. She is also the bitter ex-girlfriend of Zul, who hates him. A lot. Shaleen Cheah is of Chinese, Thai and Indian descent, it looks like she used the money she made from modeling and acting to go to college.
Tania (Tracy Trinita) – Tania is a recently divorced woman who now works for Madam X to try to be able to see her daughter. Her husband wrongly accused her of cheating. Indonesian Tracy Trinita was a dancer in Zoolander, which gives me something extra to look for the next time I watch it.
Mimi (Rita Rudaini) – Mimi is the instant replacement for Sara. Mimi has a history with Zul, and ends up killing most of the bad guys. Rita Rudaini seems the most famous of the girls in the film, so that’s probably why. Rita Rudaini married Malaysian national football (soccer) team player Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak in 2008, (he has a twin who also plays.) It was her second marriage and she is pregnant at the time of me writing this. She also sung the theme song “Kekal”
Madam X (Nurul Jasmin Deo) – The Charlie of the group is Madam X, played by Nurul Jasmin Deo, who I am told is a veteran actress in Malay cinema and TV. Too bad I can’t find anything out about her! Madam X seems to run some sort of network, but it is not clear what she does.
Zul (Eizlan Yusof) – Edsa’s ex-boyfriend has gone rogue and gone evil, except he decides to go back to being good, but Edsa still tells him to frak off. But Mimi is ready to accept a traitor into her heart. There is no Dana, only Zul.
Datuk Azmi (Datuk Jalaluddin Hasan) – Evil rival of Madam X who is also searching for the missing treasure, and will kill everyone to get it. I guess they don’t have laws or anything in Malaysia that would prevent some crazy nut from shooting up Kuala Lampur in order to get some mystic treasure.
Commander Jiman (???) – Bald military leader who is the Boseley character. Teaches the girls how to be better at military tactics. He looks like a military leader from a film, so he fits in fine.
Sara (???) – Sara is the original third Angel, but she is killed and replaced instantly with Mimi. I guess your goofy boyfriend can’t save you now! No clue who played her.

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