A young student with a passion for drawing finds herself the target of school bullies. As the young artist vents her frustrations, one of her drawings comes to life to teach the kids a lesson in bullying
“Merah A.K.A. Red” acts as an amalgamation of the various means of visual storytelling that director Wan Dinnie utilizes. The production contains Rotoscope animation as in the short films “Hana” and “Cikgu Hana“. Meanwhile, it also contains some of the experimental camera work and colour pallets of “No Smoking” and “Alice“. The end result becomes a fun mashup of Dinnie’s various talents. As a result, “Merah” comes across as the most fully realized of the directors’ short films. In particular, the use of Rotoscope to make a the bullied student creation come to life leaves a strong visual impression when combined with the various visual elements.
The script acts as a simple anti-bullying message, although the message is a bit muddled by handling the bullies through physical force. However, this is a soft critique since the sequence acts as a more memorable scene. Overall, the production does seem a bit torn between a classroom project aimed at students and someone trying to express themselves creatively. This polarizing effect is also apparent in previous productions, which does add a degree of charm and sincerity but ultimately limits the end result.
The cast is comprised of young students, which has been a consistent in the directors’ productions. Although I have expressed this in previous reviews, a large degree of charm in “Merah A.K.A. Red” comes from the students being involved in the creative process, as well as the joy of performing, as their enthusiasm becomes apparent through their roles.
Given the shorter length of the director’s productions, each one becomes a nice showcase of a lot of creative ideas. Although, within the short duration there is questions left as to the directors ability to create outside of the format. Overall, each production of Wan Dinnie has it’s own charm, making for an enjoyable viewing experience. “Merah A.K.A. Red” represents the most fully realized work of Dinnie’s and is my favorite production to date.