Malbatt: Misi Bakara (2023)

Malbatt: Misi Bakara (2023)

Adrian Teh sets the record straight in this Malaysian depiction of 1993 Black Hawk Down incident

7.2

Movie

Malaysia
Malay
Action, Drama, History, War
2023
ADRIAN TEH
Bront Palarae, Dini Schatzmann, Fauzi Nawawi
131 min

TLDR

We did not need the journalist flirting scene at all, and the green screen needed more work, but this was certainly unexpected.

What it's about

After a Black Hawk helicopter gets shot down, the 19th Battalion Malay Regiment gets deployed as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force in order to rescue the trapped American soldiers.

The take

After Black Hawk Down (2001), the casual moviegoer would have thought that the rescue operation was only conducted by American soldiers. In reality, it was a multinational effort, and Malaysia’s side of the story has finally been depicted in MALBATT: Misi Bakara. Surprisingly, it doesn’t play out as a straightforward, action-packed rescue mission– writer-director Adrian Teh does deliver the action, but the film also contemplates about the team itself: how they made sense of their opposition towards a country they shared religions with, and how they experienced the ignorance from American soldiers that didn’t even know where Malaysia was. While some introductory sequences falter, and the film fumbles certain green screen moments, MALBATT: Misi Bakara brings both the spectacle and the drama that makes it stand out from other depictions of the rescue mission.

What stands out

Made in response to the inaccuracies of Black Hawk Down, what makes MALBATT: Misi Bakara stand out is its commitment to accuracy. Reportedly, the film’s production consulted military advisor Paul Biddiss, who has been previously consulted for Hollywood military depictions, alongside several Malaysian Army soldiers, to train and prepare the actors before filming. They also filmed on set in certain locations in Somalia, as well as bases in Turkey. Even some of the cast were involved in the incident– Abdalle, their Somali interpreter, was portrayed by Musa Aden, who actually experienced the Somali Civil War. While the film did rely on CGI for specific moments, and certain choices were made to preserve the privacy of the real soldiers, it’s decisions like these that make MALBATT: Misi Bakara feel more grounded in a way Black Hawk Down hasn’t been.

Comments

Not a bad movie. I am very familiar with the incident in Mogadishu. However if you are like me who has combat and military experience, do not watch this. Everything from tactics to how they hold weapons and clear rooms, snipers will make you cringe. Wish directors would hire knowledgeable people to better portray the soldiers who actually fought in this battle.

Well they’ve learned really good from Hollywood since they had to throw in the useless flirting scene. Aside from that the movie was a very good movie. Too bad it took this long for me as an American to find out about the Malaysian soldiers and their bravery and sacrifice. Thank you!

Great movie on Netflix. Glad to see a film showing the bravery and combat skills of the Malaysian soldiers during the Mogadishu rescue mission of the US Army Rangers. It was good seeing the US and Malaysian soldiers fighting together. Netflix is a great way to share this movie. Bien hecho!

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