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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Filem DIVA: Like a Draq Queen

At a time where I was hungry and feel like eating good food, I remember and e-mail inviting me to listen to a press preview of Diva. Thanks to Alex and the film production.

Before we ate food of Planet Hollywood KL,we were given a privilege to watch their film DIVA.

DIVA is about a pop queen Kartika who is a native Malaysian and an iconic diva. After watching the video clip on of the song, the Diva looks like a draq queen who performs at Las Vegas or 11 LA (once upon a time).

The Diva was very successful in the West and is greatly adored at home. But behind her admirable success story is a tale of personal tribulation. Everywhere Kartika goes, people seem to reach out to her. They want to touch her and be next to her. However, one person Kartika wants to reach out to and who never allows her to be near her is her mother.

Kartika ran away from home to seek money and glory but today she has precisely that left with her. Kartika was right in her own way, she could see her parents sacrificing so much for her, she saw the misery and hardship faced by her parents due to poverty and Kartika believed that she could make money in the city and help her parents. But what Kartika had not perceived was the betrayal her father would feel after her departure.

When Kartika returns to Kuala Lumpur for a concert after a gap of many years, she gets a mixed reception. While some shower accolades upon her, others question her motive to be back in Malaysia, accusing Kartika of being finished in her career abroad. Journalists are curious as to why she has returned. After her successful concert show, Kartika goes to her village to her unrelenting mother but fails to convince her yet again. In the village she meets her childhood flame Arman, the only man she has ever loved and the man her father wanted her to marry. Arman suggests to Kartika that the only way to melt the heart of her mother is to take charge of the remaining students of her father’s music school and train them to become successful. Kartika sets out to do just as what Arman has advised.

With two remaining students of her father’s school and two youngsters she picks up along the way, Kartika starts to train the quartet from a classical background into her own modern fusion music. Being the taskmaster that she is, Kartika puts the four young boys and girls in a tough grind where she not only changes their music, but their appearance and style like rock stars and eventually converts them into a bunch of dynamic performers called JIWA.

Who is Kartika?

A diva in her late twenties, a singer par excellence, she is very graceful and nice. Kartika is tall, slim and beautiful; she also possesses a face that is pinned up by youths all around the globe. There is a sad tale behind her immense success but she doesn’t let it show. Life is not kind to her as much she is kind to others. Kartika’s life finds an objective and meaning just when life itself is getting ready to ditch her. With grit and raw courage she accomplishes her objectives before time runs out.
Ning Baizura played Kartika and she did it.

Members of JIWA consists of Idit, Mera, Eja and Jay. Eja is from Kartika’s village and has been training under Arman. She has a huge crush on him and feels envious of Kartika and gives her a very hard time. However, when the first album releases they are an immediate success and are the new stars on the Malaysian horizon. JIWA is unaware of the reasons Kartika is putting so much effort into them to be the best and none of them has an inkling why time is running out for her. Eja just adores Arman and she feels that Kartika is spurning him to take credit for her success alone while in truth, the matter is entirely different. Success has also gone to Eja’s head and her rebellious streak comes to the fore when Idayu, a representative from a competing recording label, offers her a lucrative contract to cut a fresh album for Zack’s music empire. Eja goes about to convince her group members to join in a revolt against Kartika.

IDIT (Adam)

18-year-old, Idit is a lovely piano artiste and has great vocal chords to match. Lean and lanky, he is literally in the life of Kartika via an accident. He is the most sensitive and emotional of all the youngsters but when he realizes that Kartika was perhaps the cause of the accident that killed his parents, his emotions towards Kartika changed. He is lovable and likes Mera and in her, he finds a partner to visualize his life with. Idit is the typical vulnerable looking boy every girl should want to mother and love.

MERA (Jessisca Iskandar)
17 years old and from Indonesia, she had come without her parents and could never return back. Kartika likes her voice and brings Mera to her home where she blossoms from a folk singer to a pop artiste and also from a simpleton into a stunningly beautiful girl after a remarkable makeover. Mera is deeply in love with Idit and she is the one with conservative values in the group but speaks out when she feels she is wrong and if others are wrong too. Mera is the poorest of the lot and money is a very important tool of security for her. She nurtures a dream to buy a house for her parents in the village back home in Indonesia.

EJA (Balkisyh)
19-year-old, a classical singer and pupil of Arman over whom she has a massive crush. Arman sends her to Kartika to become a diva like her but Eja dislikes Kartika principally because she knows Arman loves her and she has loads of ego and attitude. She is mostly rebellious and can be very hurting at times to others. However she is pretty and a fantastic learner. Her classical and modern notes melding together creates mesmerizing magic. Eja comes to Kartika as a simple girl but turns into a well groomed stylish performer with Kartika as a mentor.

JAY (Awal Ashari)

20-year-old, Jay plays local percussion instruments. His fingers move on anything and everything, he plays well on the floor or on the table as well. He is a genius with a knack of developing fantastic rhythms. His mind though is not as quick as his fingers and he develops a crush on Siska. He is very loyal to Arman but this loyalty causes him to rebel against Kartika. He is the casual most amongst the lot with his mismatched colors, shabby hair and not much attention ever to his looks. Due to this, Jay always stands apart from the rest.

After the album’s success, Kartika is busy putting up a show to launch JIWA on the world stage. Kartika would make JIWA a household name across the globe and with them the name of her father and his school would be renowned. What she doesn’t know is the revolt brewing that would put her show in jeopardy.

But before the show could take place, Kartika learns of the desertion of JIWA, her students and now famed group that she assembled from scratch and turned into stars. Fortunately, Arman, Rudy (her driver) and Siska (her manager) are on her side and tries to uncover the secret that Kartika is withholding from everyone.


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