Sepet : The Malaysian Movie


“Sepet” is a very misleading title for a movie. Why? Because some people may think it’s a Malay movie and avoid it at all costs. Movies like “Gerak Khas: The Movie” does not help, not one bit. This was apparent when I had to explain to my colleagues that it is a Malaysian movie using everyday languages like English, Malay and Chinese. Malaysians being naturally multi-lingual can really relate to the movie, because the dialogue is very real. I think it’s quite brave of Yasmin to actually do this.

[UPDATE: (Yes, 16 years later)] You can watch Sepet for free on YouTube, until 5 June 2020. You can also have cast and crew such as Sharifah Amani, Ng Choo Seong, as well as producer Abang Odeng and more answer questions o the comments section throughout the week.

Original post

After catching “Sepet” last week, I am in awe and without sounding like a Yasmin groupie, am grateful to “Kak Yas” for releasing such a wonderful, funny and tear-jerking tale. The movie isn’t perfect but the acting, especially by the leads, was totally convincing. It was like watching a Disney movie. A movie you can bring your whole family to.

The scene where Jason’s mom consoled him, I cried. This means something, bloody hell. I was moved. Not many movies can make me shed a tear or two. Hell, this is a local movie goddammit! And in between that, I was falling off my chair laughing. I won’t go into the whole sypnosis thing, there are other sites that will do a better job. But I love the dialogue. Very real, thus believable and easy to relate to.

The mention of “MILF” was somewhat amusing and unexpected. Nice touch. Heheh. Censors didn’t catch that did they? 🙂

“Sepet” deserves the accolades and commendations it has received. Good effort. For those who haven’t watched it, what the hell are you waiting for? Nothing this good has come to our shores from our shores in yonks. Be thankful.

By the way, fellow blogger, PROZAK NATION 2005 has stumbled upon an original VCD copy of “Sepet”. Go buy it if you so wish. And keep it in a safe place, because you are bound to pick it up to watch when you feel warm, fuzzy and wanting to be entertained.

For me, I’m waiting for the Director’s Cut DVD version, if ever it’s released. The 8 scenes that got cut? I want to see them!

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By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.

34 replies on “Sepet : The Malaysian Movie”

I watched Sepet last night – bought the VCD when I was in Kelantan a few weeks ago – not sure if it’s the uncensored version – if so, what scenes are they?
I am thankful to all those involved in the production of Sepet – it’s a good movie. A little contrived and preachy at some points – for example, the scene where Jason explained “Baba & Nyonya”. However at the same time, in that particular scene, as in many others throughout the movie, great thinking points were issued (and I’m not talking about MILF here 😉 ). About racial preferences (ok when one likes someone because of that, but not when HATE because of that), how in the early malaccan empire days interracial relationships were more widely accepted, about the fact that Malays got a huge advantage in scholarship decisions (rightly or wrongly), about one turning into one’s own parents.
In fact this whole movie is rich with discussion points!
Which does make it sound less like a movie, but more like a social commentary.
However, this is, to me certainly is acceptable as a movie genre. Think the Hollywood movie “Crash” and you can put these two in the same genre.
Sepet managed to do this around a seemingly basic love story. Which had been acted extremely well and naturally. Due to the nature of what’s around for the last twenty years or so in the Malay movies, the realistic and natural way of Sepet acting seems rather like watching a documentary. However this actually says volumes about the poor quality of the other movies.
And the humour in Sepet is the most sophisticated and intelligent I have ever seen in a Malaysian movie. I laughed at some parts but felt uncomfortable at the same time. I felt like I was laughing at myself.
The more I think about this, the more I realise how good this movie is.
Well done Yasmin Ahmad!

With all the positive response with “Sepet”, and “Gubra” supposedly several notches better, we can expect to be thrilled by Yasmin all over again. Keep your eyes peeled, folks!

i’m chinese, he’s malay, we love each other very much, but our relationship is something like the tagline for gubra…”why do we hurt the people we love most”. yea…i love him, but i may someday leave him, because i know i cannot give him what he really needs in life…makes me so sad, but it’s reality…

When my husband and I decided to watch Sepet, we didn’t know what to expect. We thought it would be another “typical” Malay movie. Nonetheless, we were intrigued with the synopsis on the dvd cover. So we decided to purchase the item and hoped for the best.

We thought the story was cleverly told. The leading actor and actress may not be well known faces, but take my word, I think they should pat their back for job well done.

Admittedly the way of life portrait in the movie, may not necessarily represent “typical Malay families” or “typical Chinese families” in Malaysia, but the movies has achieved something. This achievement could mean different things to different people.

Personally for me, Sepet has put back some faith in me on the calibre of our film directors. After Sepet, the experience from watching Anak mami kembali dvd was too painful to swallow.

Well done for the success of Sepet and looking forward to watching the new production from Yasmin.

it’s sad because my family has many mixed marriages too and yet my mom still pretends i am not with him. i never had ‘chinese guy only’ kind of criterion, never thought of race when thinking of love and only knew i would fall for someone GOOD. and yet she made it sound like it’s a bad thing to fall for someone ‘not chinese’….

i’m chinese, he’s malay. we’ve been together for almost a year now and still my mom cannot accept that i may one day convert. she does everything she can to break us up including threatening to disown me…and silly me – i thought she would be proud that her daughter is not a racist. funny, when we first met and even when we first fell in love, we didn’t ‘see’ our racial difference…

I guess people see what they want to see. I’m waiting for the day when I can truly and proudly say that I am Malaysian. I am Chinese. I am Malay. I am Indian. I am Iban.

It’s probably easy for me as there is a lot of inter-racial marriages amongst the family. I have cousins and aunts/uncles who are malays, half-malays, half-gwailo. My godparents are Indian.

You want majmuk? You want muhibbah? You got it, baby!

I managed to catch the movie on DVD (i know abit late), and I was impressed by the art direction and natural acting from the 2 leads! I am Singaporean btw, and there’s a part when Jason’s mum scolded, “Bloody Singaporeans!”… Ahaha, Im not offended but amused. The dialogue is very well-written I must say. It is all very real.

It’s a marvellous effort by a Malaysian. I think it is much better than alot of Singaporean films. Very subtle, sweet and most importantly, sincere. 🙂

Just watched the ORIGINAL, uncut version of Sepet. Man, was it good!!!!!! I actually went to the show cos my fren dragged me to it(considering the many other malaysian “movies” out there, my doubt was hardly surprising); I came out with total awe and rejuvenated hope in the Malaysian film industry.

So, what’s so good about it?? I bet u have heard about it many times elsewhere, but really, this is THE MOST MALAYSIAN movie that i have ever watched. It very plainly tells the audience what is wrong (and what is still right) about our society in Malaysia.The plots and dialougues were so realistic, I found it hard to see it on screen. Just doesnt seem right!!!

And of course, the blossom of love between Jason and Orked….. what could i say? simply marvellous. Definitely not another romance flick. Personally I like the part where Jason and Orked first met the most. It just says it all – there’s no need for reasons or rationality for love to spark off btw 2 person, regardless of their race or social status. THEY JUST FELL FOR EACH OTHER. This is love at first sight that is actually convincing!!!

Yasmin Ahmad was brave to point out, albeit indirectly, many issues that troubles chinese and malay alike. Two exmaples are the discussion btw the leads about the Malay’s laziness and the fact that some Malays do get offered scholarships even though their results are less than impressive. We Malaysians know these things well enough. But of course, nobody talks about it.

Sepet is definitely a show you cant afford to miss (particularly if you are Malaysian.) And in case you are wondering how the hell i managed to watch the uncut original in front of a TV, well, I am in Melbourne ( someone bought the ori CD back home and brought it over). Sad isnt it? And was the cut footage necessary? Well, let’s just say it’s the difference between a plate of white rice and a plate of fried rice with seafood.

After waiting like a few months, I finally got to watch sepet. Deeply flawed but it’s the message that count. Like you, I am glad that it’s not another Gerak Khas. Tempted to make a free screening in Sydney Uni but I’ll probably get sue.. heheh

Yasmin is a MILF!
I love to fuck her anytime but i hated the movie.
i want hongkong action films only lor!

At least Sepet touched many Malaysian hearts. I do agree with “someone” put a lot of negative points of view to the movie… maybe he or she isn’t a Malaysian after all… or he/she just “look” too high of himself/herself.

Yes… simple movie, not a great performance from the actors/actress, low budget and no superstar… In fact… the sense of the movie… the story… the dialog… the effort from all the crew and courage of the diretor… wins all! This is for sure a master piece of work… of all Malaysian!!… because of our culture and tolerance of each other.. we finally found the line of balance in life living in multiracial country…

Why there are still have so many Malaysian and so called educated Malaysian do not like this movie?? Maybe they just can’t admit who they are still… this is sad.. and shame to those have so much negative points to said about the “first” Malaysian movie…

Yasmin.. I will follow you from here! Good work!

ok hello… i searched up google for this movie and yeah you’re blog appeared.

i really appreciated this movie because its been a long while since i last saw a malay movie that’s worth watching…

it has a arts film touch to it which is something not many malay movies have. this i feel, is a good departure from stereotypical malay movies.

that aside… i think its a film that many of us can relate to. and at the same time feel good, cry with, laugh with… you know…


i loved Sepet, its a good malay movie, something that we all havent seen for quite some time now, don’t you think? it made you burst out laughing and at the very same time made you cry and wish he wouldnt ride his bicycle like such a jerk! u wish the ending would be a happy one, but that would make it cliched, and that’s what i lke about the movie, it isn’t cliched and damn it why did they have to cut out all the kissing and hugging scenes!>.

who the **** that wanted to **** orked behind the tree?…and which school they were in?fast food ctr was in greentown…

went to see in ipoh tgv,and it was at 930 pm show.there were chinese,malay and even indian in the thetre,and we all were laughing and crying, esp when jason with his mother and when he got accident…man,to me it was a powerful movie,and it relate to all of us…cant stop laughing when jason dancing to the ‘dia datang’…so funny one…good work yasmin,you deserve all the credits,with ppl like you, i start to believe malaysians can produce local brilliant movies…forget hollywood,support our local movies people…

Hmm.. I like your response to my slashings earlier. I admire your attitude. People like you restore my faith in Malaysians. I don’t know how but you managed to make a connection with me. You should be a writer. Your words are very powerful.

Thanks. Writing isn’t for me though. Somehow, I lack flair. I’ll leave the flair and the vocabulary to my younger brother, Vince, who is fantastic with words.

Well, like I say, never be afraid to speak up. Say what you believe is honest.

“I may not agree with what you say, but I defend your right to say it!”

Peace and take care. Keep on blogging!

Belive it or not the name of the actor in the film is same like my hubby,Kristian name Jason Chinese name by Ah Long he now converted I really do fall in this movies till my eyes tears when the ending part.Syabas the film director.Not kind of movies that I expected.

Reading all the positive comments about Sepet gave me a headache and I am very shocked at how low malaysian standards are. Please admit that Sepet is just another Malaysian failure. It is very much overrated, the direction was horrendous, the acting was bad, the cinematography is embarrassing, and the story is unrealistic. I am very disappointed in Yasmin Ahmad for this. Didn’t she make those kick-ass petronas advertisements? what happened Yasmin?

> Anonymous said…

Reading all the positive comments about Sepet gave me a headache and I am very shocked at how low malaysian standards are. Please admit that Sepet is just another Malaysian failure. It is very much overrated, the direction was horrendous, the acting was bad, the cinematography is embarrassing, and the story is unrealistic. I am very disappointed in Yasmin Ahmad for this. Didn’t she make those kick-ass petronas advertisements? what happened Yasmin?


I don’t think she has prior acting experience, just like Loong. If I am not mistaken, that is.

yes, the opening sequence is really cool.

Kak Yas rocks man. Those who think she isn’t can go suck eggs.

I lovelovelovelovelove Sepet. Another milestone for Malaysia! Even the opening credit is awesome! Yeah ba-beee!!!

BUT. A lot of people (esp from the ad industry) is cynical about Yasmin’s abilty. Even before they watch the movie, they go “Aiyoh, why pay RM9 to watch a 90-minute Petronas ad?!”

Sad sods.

Hies, i’m from Malaysia too!

i’ve just watched it two days ago (which i had my bad accident when i’m heading home.. anyway) its really great. i was suprised that a local movie could be this good. its funny, touching and sweet.

i like that malay girl. she is cute. any idea any other movie she starred in before?

yeah, possibly him who posted the info. Very useful indeed!

Yeah man. Top class job. Looking forward for more from Kak Yas. She rocks man!

urban girl,
My best friend Addie says he’s cute too. And he’s a really nice and shy guy in real life too. She knows him from Leo Burnett, the agency he’s attached too. At 34, yes, he looks extremely young!

This Jason guy, cute-lah ! So romantic, so sweet, I wish real guys are like that ! Can you believe he’s 34 ! So damn young looking !

Man, this movie kualiti-ah !! And it’s local ! With all this crap our local film industry are churning out, I’m glad there’s finally a gem that makes me feel all nice inside. You go Yasmin !

i guess zookree was the anonymous that dropped by my blog ;p thanks for sharing the info anyway – i think i might just go check out the uncensored version. video Ezy here i come…

just bought the ori vcd .. surprise.. surprise!!.. its the uncut version… trust me!!! go buy it!! only RM15.00 at S&M… at Speedy & VideoEzy RM19.90.

Don’t be surprised to find out that not many people know what MILF stands for. I was laughing when that scene came on and I realised that I was among the few to do so in the whole hall. My wife asked me what’s so funny (she’s a bit innocent) and I told her and she went ooooh!

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