The ambiguous “Letter to the President”
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.