He is tasked with escorting a Roman prince to Langkasuka (present-day Langkawi) to marry a Chinese princess of the Han Dynasty. Before the marriage can take place, they are attacked by a group of pirates who kidnap the princess. Merong then vows to rescue the princess.
Watching this film is no different from reading a dry history textbook – at least this is how I felt. I went home knowing the legend but not feeling any emotional attachment to the story or the characters.
But I have to admit that the film’s RM8 million budget was well spent as there are some spectacular scenes. Unfortunately, the film fails to do the most important thing, which is touch our hearts.
I believe one of the main weaknesses of this film is that director Yusry had allowed part of the story to be narrated off-screen, not giving the actors a chance to establish a bond with one another and create magical moments on screen.
And the narrator’s voice is none too pleasant, sounding like a bad version of Darth Vader fromStar Wars!
None of the actors really stand out with the exception of Khir Rahman who plays the ruthless pirate Kamawas.
Perhaps, all the publicity and hype surrounding Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa had created too high an expectation for the film. Sad to say, it fails to deliver the goods where it counts most – in the hearts of the audience.