Alternative Ending To Sepet

Well, not really MY alternative ending, it's really my friend's, who told me this when we were in a bus few days ago. But I couldn't help but share it with you all here.



I guess I was prompted by the recent incident where Sepet (and Gubra) lead actress Sharifah Amani accepted her Best Actress award at the Malaysian Film Fest while condemning the excessively conservative parties of Malaysia with the line (I paraphrase): "if making movies mencemarkan budaya (corrupting the culture), let's make more movies then". I heard from my friend, Sebastian (who now uses that quote as his MSN nick) that the backlash was pretty vicious, with people saying that she shamed her race, her country, her ancestors because she opened her line with (I paraphrase again) "I sound stupid when I speak Malay."

(I interpreted as her admitting that she sucked at speaking in Malay... while most threw accusations of her being a traitorous scumbag who insulted her own mother tongue. Hoo boy.)

Enough with that. Apparently, KDU College had used the universally-loved Malaysian film Sepet (read my review) by Yasmin Ahmad (her blog here) for their screen studies class, and what students had to do was to come up with an alternative ending for the movie after they've seen it. So obviously, this is done by disregarding the existence of the actual Sepet sequel, Gubra (which I've seen on the plane to Perth, but couldn't review yet because I can't understand half of the story due to my deteriorating grasp over the Malay language).

And yes, this contains spoilers, so proceed only if you've already seen the film, or don't intend to see the film, or don't really mind spoilers:


Jason, on his motorbike, tried chasing after Orked as she was on her way to the KL International Airport, attempting to stop her from studying abroad in England. The accident that would've killed him in the actual Sepet ending was averted, and he managed to make his way to the airport, only to realize, to his consternation, that he was too late, and Orked had already flown off.

Helplessly, he stared as the airplane disappeared into the skies.

Years later, Orked returned to Malaysia after completing her studies, joyless and disillusioned after numerous failed relationships. To her surprise, she found out about a newly-opened fastfood chain named after her, selling the best french fries in the country.

Overwhelmed by memories of her first date with Jason at McDonald's, which she remembered for all the tiny little things: His voice, his laughter, the smell of the french fries, the flowers, him asking why Malay films had degenerated so badly since the days of P. Ramlee... Orked stepped into the restaurant.

The restaurant was bustling with activities, people lining up for packets of french fries that filled the air with a heavenly scent, sending Orked into a hypnotic daze, barely aware as she was getting nearer to the counter. Finally, it was her turn, and she saw the face that had haunted her dreams for many nights in many years, the love of her life, the one she lost and endlessly yearned for.

Jason.

He had not changed much, his face perhaps weathered slightly by age, yet the slit-like eyes, which were targets of ridicule for her Malay friends, but which she found so mesmerizing in the past, widened in shock as he saw her. The polite greeting he gave to his usual customers was stuck in his throat when Jason realized that standing before him wasn't a usual customer.

Orked smiled, the first time she ever smiled since her separation with Jason that felt almost like a lifetime ago. Around both of them, time stopped again, the world became silent, becoming witnesses of this long-awaited reunion of these two lonely souls.

"I opened this for you." He said, shattering the wall of silence that fell between them. "I knew you would return."

Carefully maintaining a mask of nonchalance, she ordered her fries, and with trembling hands, took the tray to an empty table. Shaking her head, wondering whether what had just occurred was merely a hallucination. Her suspicions were proven wrong when she felt a gentle touch upon her arm as Jason took a seat beside her.

A brief conversation occurred. With him telling her how he spent the last few years mastering the arts of frying the perfect french fries from the best French chefs. How his foray in starting these restaurants kept him sane as he waited for her return. Financial success meant nothing to him when she wasn't there with him. She completed him.

Yet softly, she halted his words and his declarations of everlasting love by suggesting a meeting at the lake the next day. The lake where they spent a magical evening watching the setting sun back then, when he explained the amount of time he needed to fall in love with her. She loved him then, and that place, in her heart, would always be their special place.

Things would be meaningless unless fate allows our union at our special place, she said. Let us meet there tomorrow afternoon, I will wait for you.

There is no need to wait, he said, I will never let you wait again.

No phone numbers were exchanged, just smiles of longing that burned deep in each other's souls.

A day later.

Jason drove in his car, speeding to the destination she had mentioned. Fueled by steely determination, and some kind of mad desperation, gripped by the fear of losing her again. He ran into another car at a junction, a deafening crash of glasses shattering, a sharp pain on his head.

His vision cleared, and he realized, to his surprise that he was relatively unscathed, except for a bruise on his head. Yet the car he ran into wasn't so fortunate, he saw the driver, lying facefirst on the wheel, covered with blood, shards of glass jutting out from flesh.

He wanted to save the driver, but by doing thus, he would be late for the meeting with Orked. Jason knew that it would kill him to wait for another few more years, or perhaps, there would be no wait, perhaps she would disappear from his life forever. He sped off, silently muttering an apology to the driver whose car he slammed on.

Reaching the lake. Jason gasped in relief. Allowing himself to calm down by looking at the water, at the ducks that swam across, hearing the sounds of rustling leaves around him, the melodious chirpings of the bird.

Yet Orked never came.

Night descended upon him. But she never came. Disappointment filled his soul. He returned to his car with a broken heart.

It wasn't long before he found out that the car he crashed into earlier that day was Orked's.

He killed her.




The End
(And so, Gubra never existed)

"Whoa!" I shook my head in disbelief, originally expecting her to come up with some generic saccharine happy alternative ending for the movie. "that's pretty twisted, and nihilistic, and cynical!"

My friend smiled, telling me that she got a High Distinction for what she wrote.

I wasn't surprised.

Anyway, if thin-skinned fuddy duddies continue accusing independent filmmaking as a corruption of culture in Malaysia, gee, I guess I myself would have to make more films too just to spite them and satisfy my own twisted pleasure.

Related reads:

the storyteller: Why She Remains My Anak Emas
Yasmin Ahmad defends Sharifah Amani.

Blogazine: When You Speak In English, You Sounds Even More Stupid
An entry directed at Sharifah. Pretty harsh words.

go and die: I dunno how to speak in Malay laaaa
More harsh words.

The Sensintrovert: Yasmin Ahmad To Make May 13 Movie
Howsy gives a summary on the whole incident, and also Yasmin Ahmad's relationship with one particular alternative media.

MyAsylum: Gubra: Best Picture at 19th Malaysian Film Festival
Walski congratulates Yasmin for her victory at the Malaysian Film Festival, and also voices out briefly the challenges of making movies in Malaysia.

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