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Saturday, 13 January 2018 | MYT 6:05 AM

‘Busker’: A modern love story made with all the right tunes

"Hey, so how much coins did you use to make this machine run all night?"

The story for Busker is deceivingly simple. Boy meets girl. They become friends. Then girl helps boy to get back with his ex-girlfriend. Of course, the girl ends up falling in love with the boy. There is so much charm and humour in the way this story goes that you’re compelled to root for the girl to have a happy ending.

Directed by Syed Khairul Fariz, Busker is set in Johor Bahru where our boy, Adil (Hafeez Mikail) a student-musician, meets Vera (Daiyan Trisha) at university. They argue over a parking spot so it was not a good first encounter. Then thanks to a lecturer (cameo by XX Ray director Aziz M. Osman where he has all the best and corny lines), Adil and Vera have to pair up for an assignment. They learn to overcome their differences.

Vera finds out that Adil is the vocalist is the group Simfoni Dalam Poket along with guitarist Ucop (perfectly played by Anas Ridzuan) and percussionist Bulan (Bulan plays her role well).

Adil who was dumped by his ex-girlfriend for a cooler guy in another band is then encouraged by Vera to join a busking competition. That way, the ex-girlfriend can see that the all-new, all-ambitious Adil is better than her new boyfriend.

Wind in our hair and we walk like we just don’t care.

Busker truly shines because of its execution. When the focus is not on Adil or Vera, we meet other characters who’d steal the show like Anas and Daniel (Mas Khan), Vera’s conceited social media influencer boyfriend. You could easily hate that guy but all is forgiven because he has some of the best funny moments.

The scenes where Adil and Vera get to know each other is stunning as they explore Johor Baru’s many artistic sites. My favourite scene is when Adil and Vera walk through the park at night with fairy lights illuminating before they end up at a carousel.

These swoon-worthy moments are made memorable with catchy music by Monoloque. I dare you not to sing along to Mogok Tenteram for days after you’re done with this movie.

It also refreshing that Busker is not trying to persecute the youth. If anything, it shows the many different facets of young people who are striving to make something with their lives. Just because someone comes from a rich family (like Vera who drives a Mini Cooper to school), it doesn’t mean they are spoilt or entitled.

Likewise, Vera tells Adil that just because Daniel is obsessed with his social media following, it doesn’t mean that he is not academically-inclined.

You can’t assume that a busking group you see performing on the street as just another cover band with no vision. The point here is everybody has to start somewhere. So, the kids are more than alright in Busker.

Well, Busker does suffer from some moments of overwhelming optimism. I didn’t care for lines like “It’s better to have love and lost than to never love at all”.

However, it is easy to overlook the cheesiness because there are many other better aspects in this movie. Overall, Busker is an brilliant feel-good effort that makes you want to say thank you for the music.


Director: Syed Khairul Fariz

Cast: Daiyan Trisha, Hafeez Mikail, Anas Ridzuan, Bulan, Lia Natalia, Mas Khan, Man Bai, Zain Hamid