A triumphant orchestra gives OlaBola sentimental value, even if you’ve watched it before

There are times when watching a movie more than once gives you an entirely different experience. Now watch a local film for a second time, but now with a full-fledged orchestra, a choir group and some concert hall singers and you get something amazing

Last week on the 15th of September, we went to watch OlaBola for the second time but now in the glorious comforts of the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas. (for further details about the concert, click here). Initial expectations hovered around the prospect of decency. How much more can a live orchestra really add to a movie experience anyway besides making the film score louder?

Onn Sann and the cast of Ola Bola expressing their gratitude (Source: MPO)
Onn Sann and the cast of Ola Bola expressing their gratitude (Source: MPO)

Apparently, so much more. For starters, the aura of the hall made every single little moment of sadness and joy in the film glisten and glow. When the violin stretches out during the time Tauke (JC Chee) has an argument with his sister, you feel that shivering in your bones even more than if it were to come out from a speaker. Goosebumps were also felt during victorious moments, such as Muthu’s stupendous goal saving and the entire boot camp training montage – and these were just the old songs.

The concert featured a lot of new scores into the list too, for the ones that genius composer, Onn Sann, left out of the original film. The most notable one was the score that played during the exchange between Tauke and Rahman (Bront Palarae), which gave the scene a whimsical and sharper comedic edge.

There were so many things that the wonderful people from Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra and UCSI Chorale brought to light

Juwita Sowito (Picture SOurce: MPO)
Juwita Sowito (Picture Source: MPO)

that we didn’t notice before in the original. There was the melancholic, yet invigorating rendition of Inilah Barisan Kita that really stood out in an orchestral hall the way a cinema hall could not. All of this was conducted by the spirited and punctuated enthusiasm of Jessica Cottis.

Besides the magical voices from UCSI Chorale weaving through the dramatic parts of the film, Juwita Sowito wraps up the whole performance with a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Arena Cahaya. The credits already pierced through our hearts with the emotional closure presented by real photographs of the 1980 Malaysian team fighting to go to the Moscow Olympics, but the singing truly completes the sense of patriotic triumph and nostalgic sadness one feels for the mixed outcome of the football teams fate.

OlaBola managed to make football lovers out of non-sports lovers, and patriots of out apathetic citizens. With this orchestra, it was enough to make people pay attention closer to the fine craftsmanship behind film scoring. It made orchestra lovers out of all of us.

If you wanna find out more about events happening at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS, check out their website.

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