The am­bigu­ous “Let­ter to the Pres­i­dent”

The Myanmar Times - - Metro - NYAN LIN AUNG nyan­lin­aung@mm­times.com

UN­EX­PECTED things make me watch Myan­mar movies ev­ery Sun­day. Last Sun­day, I watched the movie called Let­ter to the Pres­i­dent.

I watched it be­cause it tack­les is­sues about the weak­nesses of our ju­di­ciary.

Direc­tor Wine helmed the movie, which was adapted from the novel writ­ten by au­thor Lu Nay. The script was writ­ten by Nay Naw. A Lin Yaung, Chan Min Ye’ Htut, Ph­way Ph­way and May Suu Maung starred in the movie.

Al­though I haven’t read the orig­i­nal novel, I think it was based on the two fa­mous es­says of au­thor U Zaw Win Ko, Please re­lease U Aung Hla, and The State and Aung Kyaw.

I am not very sat­is­fied with the ef­forts of direc­tor Wine. His idea to por­tray the weak­nesses in the ju­di­ciary did not live up to ex­pec­ta­tions.

The worst thing is the way he presents the scenes. It did not re­spect the view­ers by ig­nor­ing their sense of aware­ness about what it is go­ing on in the ju­di­cial sys­tem. The scenes were far from re­al­ity.

The fol­low­ing scenes are the most ob­vi­ous ar­gu­ments on why the direc­tor did not show re­spect to the knowl­edge of the view­ers: at the be­gin­ning of the movie, it showed re­porters us­ing only mo­bile phones when they con­duct in­ter­views; there was also a scene when the char­ac­ter U Chein Ti gave di­gestible pills to the per­son who was cough­ing; then there is this highly dec­o­rated room where pris­on­ers meet their vis­i­tors; the way of read­ing out let­ters sent to the pres­i­dent was also too con­trived; the man­goes that fell on the group were stan­dard sized fruits while those that were ac­tu­ally fall­ing were small man­goes; then there is the scene where the site of car crash and the lo­ca­tion of the char­ac­ter fall­ing down was dif­fer­ent.

The pre­sen­ta­tion of the pro­fes­sions of jour­nal­ists, lawyers and judge in this movie is to­tally dif­fer­ent from re­al­ity.

It seems as if pro­fes­sion­al­ism is be­ing ig­nored in ev­ery scene.

Ph­way Ph­way stars as a jour­nal­ist, the main char­ac­ter, in this movie and over­acted in most of the scenes. She shows that she not do re­search about the lives of jour­nal­ists and how they ac­tu­ally go about their daily work.

The scenes where she is ask­ing ques­tions dur­ing a press con­fer­ence and get­ting in­for­ma­tion from the judge, is very ag­gres­sive. I feel like the pro­fes­sional im­age of a re­porter was de­stroyed as the plot showed lit­tle un­der­stand­ing of how re­porters work.

Al­though the movie wants to de­pict cor­rup­tion in the ju­di­ciary, the way the let­ter to the pres­i­dent ended up in the re­porter’s hands made the au­di­ence laugh so hard. In the be­gin­ning, the movie de­vi­ated from the orig­i­nal mes­sage of ju­di­cial de­part­ment’s cor­rup­tion and was full of supernatural events like a hor­ror or a thriller movie. The tempo was also messed up as the thrilling scene were fol­lowed by comedic scenes and then the court scenes.

Al­though the pro­tag­o­nist was the re­porter at the be­gin­ning, she sud­denly changed her ca­reer to a lawyer and was dragged into the court, which shows a pretty dumb idea that cor­rup­tion can only be dis­cussed be­fore the court, judges and lawyers.

Over­all, the movie’s mes­sage is good and some­how it was able to show a teeny bit of the cor­rup­tion in the ju­di­ciary.

But that is al­ready well-known fact and there was no more ways to make it more ap­par­ent. Only the cor­rup­tion was talked about and the char­ac­ter of the pro­tag­o­nist was not pre­sented well while the movie is like an ad­ven­ture or thriller or a hor­ror or the re­flec­tion of a lawyer. It left me with no feel­ings when I left the movie house.

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