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Film Review: Pendatang (2023) Malaysia 🇲🇾

Andrew Chan

Film Review: Pendatang (2023) Malaysia 🇲🇾


Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia 🇦🇺)

Billed as one of the most controversial film in Malaysia, “Pendatang” is entirely funded on crowdfunding platform and released on YouTube, largely to avoid the Malaysian  censorship board as it deals with relevant, social and political concerns that are entirely fictional. This dystopian thriller directed by Ken Kin and written by Lin Boon Siang works well as the core focus on family, racism, segregation and the social and political divide on humanity and right. This is easily one of best and socially relevant Malaysian film since director Edmund Yeo’s features.


Fred Chan plays the troubled protagonist, husband and father whose dreams of owning the biggest phone company in the segregated area goes down the drain and along with dispirited wife played by veteran Mayjune Tan. Meanwhile, Shareen Yeo and Kyzer Tou do well as sibling going thru change and testing times. Nick Davis overacts to good effect to be the highly despicable antagonist, showing how military power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.


All in all, “Pendatang” is well directed and scripted tightly as we reflect upon the dystopian world that has fallen on a fictional Malaysia. Director Ken Kin is full of potential as he manages to capture difficult themes and engage the audience thru what happens on screen. Humanity at its core lies in questioning and thinking and the dystopian world show how we need to live in harmony with one another no matter what race we are, we are all human beings. Worth a watch.


I rated it 8/10

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