For the longest time, going to Malaysian cinemas would mean watching another Hollywood blockbuster or foreign films. Local films barely made a blip on our radars.

The winds of change are blowing, though, as we’ve seen a rise in brilliantly made Malaysian films on the big screen. From Jagat to Ola Bola as well as the latest Upin & Ipin movie winning at an international film festival in Canada, the local filmmaking industry is finally shining under the spotlight.

The latest addition to this line-up of excellent Malaysian films is Motif, a murder-mystery that explores the nuances of polygamy. Produced by WayangWorks and Ore Struck Media, it’s directed by a Malaysian Cannes award winning director.

(Credit: WayangWorks)

TRP had the pleasure of catching this amazing film right before it hits theatres nationwide on 26th September.

While we can launch into a 10-page essay on why you should watch this intriguing murder-mystery, here’s 4 terrific reasons why you should watch Motif.

1. It’s directed by a Malaysian Cannes Award winning director!

Have we mentioned that Motif is directed by a Malaysian Cannes award winning director? It’s directed by a Malaysian Cannes award winning director.

Nadiah Hamzah, Director of Motif
(Credit: WayangWorks)

Nadiah Hamzah, the brilliant director, was recently awarded the bronze medal at the Cannes Gold Lion 2019 Award for a short yet powerful anti-bullying PSA.

She was also called “one to watch” by The Hollywood Reporter, a wildly popular US Entertainment magazine.

With such accolade to her name, it’s no wonder that her debut film, Motif, on the tale of a missing teenage girl in a small town and the frustrations of the investigating officer played by Sharifah Armani.

(Credit: WayangWorks)

2. The murder-mystery storyline will leave you in awe

No joke, throughout the 86-minute movie, this writer was glued to her seat despite the protests of a very full bladder.

To summarise the tale, Inspector Dewi (Sharifah Armani), a talented policewoman from Bukit Aman is sent to the sleepy town of Tanah Merah to investigate the case of a missing teenager named Anna (Khayrani Kemal).

However, she finds a less than warm welcome as the town views the outsider with distrust, especially from her assigned partner Inspector Rizal (Taqim Zaki) and the missing girl’s father Hussein (Datuk Rosyam Nor) who is also a powerful figure in the town.

(Credit: WayangWorks)

As Inspector Dewi dives further into the case, she starts getting anonymous threats and her personal life seems to unravel concurrently with the investigations.

(Credit: WayangWorks)

What’s interesting is how Nadiah dares to prod the extremely touchy case of polygamy with thoughtful care, diving deep into the emotional psyche of the parties involved.

For every minute of the movie, right until the end, the audience is kept guessing in this whodunit. Even when it cuts to black at the end, you’ll be left in your seat with your mind whirring.

3. The brilliant acting

With stellar names such as Sharifah Armani and Datuk Rosyam Nor leading the movie, there is no doubt that the acting is up to mark.

(Credit: WayangWorks)

In the film, the tension between the two is palpable and Rosyam Noor’s evil eye is scary even through the screen.

Special shotout to Taqim Zaki’s as the local investigating officer who provides unexpected moments of laughter through his earnest delivery.

(Credit: WayangWorks)

Of course, the rest of the cast with Iedil Dzuhrie Alaudin, Emma Tosh, Sherie Merlis and many more are simply superb at drawing the audience deeper into the darkness of the film.

(Credit: WayangWorks)


MOTIF | Official Trailer | 26.06.2019 from Wayangworks on Vimeo.

We have to admit, this is a BEAUTIFULLY shot film. The scenery is BREATHTAKING with some of the finest views of Kuala Lumpur, Sungai Penchala, Nilai dan Bukit Fraser, Pahang.

It’s dark and powerful as Nadiah was inspired by Scandinavian murder TV series, so the shots are majestic. Fans of Black Mirror may find the visual cues similar to the Crocodile episode that was shot in Iceland.


Verdict: 9/10

Great cinematography, Riveting storyline & Solid acting.

That’s all the “Motif” you need to watch Motif, releasing nationwide on 26th September!

(Credit: WayangWorks)
(Why Malaysian director Nadiah Hamzah is worried about her debut feature film ‘Motif’ (VIDEO))
(The one to watch)

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