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The Independent Critic

Shii Elsa, Mubarak Majid, Syafiq Dharma
Jaemin Park
Mel Brannon
13 Mins.

 "Coofie & Sexy Dress" Continues on Film Festival Circuit 
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With its most recent fest selection being at the Chennai International Short Film Festival, Coofie & Sexy Dress continues its successful festival run that has included the acclaimed Short Corner, Gwangju International Film Festival, Kenya's Slum Film Festival, and Austria's Golden Diana International Film Festival. 

The film follows Razak (Mubarak Majid), a frustrated and desperate family man whose dire financial straits have led him to being in debt to a relentless and unforgiving loan shark (Syafiq Dharma). Throughout the film's 13-minute running time, we see Razak's increasing desperation while his oblivious daughter, Anna (Shii Elsa), challenges her father's strict religious values and is seemingly unaware of what's going on. 

Coofie & Sexy Dress is a clever and entertaining short film out of Malaysia, a film that nicely takes advantage of cultural and atmospheric beauty while also sharing a story that is easily interpreted as a universal one. Saifullah Khaisas' lensing for the film is energetic and electric, while the original music by Kurt Pan companions the film by giving it emotional highs and lows. Ella Royantty's production design for the film gives the film a gritty, raw feeling that works quite nicely with the story that unfolds. 

The ensemble cast is uniformly strong, though Shii Elsa's the true stand-out here with a performance that never lets you know what's unfolding but also toys with you just a bit as her character is slowly revealed. It's a disciplined, satisfying performance. Kudos must also be given to both Mubarak Majid and the film's baddie, Syafiq Dharma. 

For more information on Coofie & Sexy Dress, visit the film's IMDB page linked to in the credits. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic