Most of the musicals here are not local but when the Puteri Gunung Ledang (Princess of Ledang Mountain) started, it was full house all the way!
The historic Malaysian kingdom of Melaka was once one of the world's great trading ports and the most powerful maritime empire in South-East Asia. Puteri Gunung Ledang is set in the thriving 15th century Melaka Sultanate and the grand Javanese kingdom of Majapahit. History, mythology and fiction are fused to tell a fateful tale of forbidden love, in a time when allegiance and honour to country are foremost to personal desires.
Gusti Putri Retno Dumillah (Tiara Jacquelina), a Princess of the Majapahit Kingdom, has fallen profoundly in love with one of Melaka’s most commanding and spirited warriors, Hang Tuah (M. Nasir). A vivid dream compels the Princess to commit the unspeakable and leave her assigned palace life. Without consent from her King, she sets sail across the open seas with the unflinching hope that she can be reunited with her one true love.
Soon after the Princess’ parting, the Majapahit Kingdom is attacked by the powerful Javanese Kingdom of Demak. Desperate to quell the invasion, Gusti Putri's brother and King, Gusti Adipati Handaya Ningrat (Alex Komang), initiates a plan to offer his sister's hand in marriage to the Prince of Demak. Her absence renders this solution impossible. The King's only hope for security is to forge an alliance with the mighty Melaka Sultanate by offering his sister's hand in marriage to Sultan Mahmud Shah of Melaka.
Puteri Gusti and her brother, King Adipati
The Sultan accepts. But the Princess is unable to bring herself to do this as she could not bear to be his Queen. The Princess instead offers to marry the Prince of Demak. But the indignant Sultan will not accept rejection nor will he be publicly humiliated. He plots to ensure that he will, at all costs, marry the Princess.
Hang Tuah is ordered to head the royal delegation and propose to Gusti Putri on behalf of the Sultan. The warrior devotedly leads the convoy up Gunung Ledang in search of the woman he deeply loves. The Princess attempts to curtail their advance, but eventually she yields to Hang Tuah's appeal.
After a fleeting and tender reunion, the Princess is painfully aware that her beloved's foremost duty is that of a warrior. Despite confessing his love for her, he will not forsake the Sultan's wishes. Brokenhearted, she agrees to marry the Sultan on the proviso that he is able to solve and fulfill seven riddles.
When the Sultan learns of the Princess’ prohibitive conditions he is even more determined to marry her.
All words and pictures are courtesy from Puteri Gunung Ledang: The Musical.
Both the movie and musical was starred and produced by Tiara Jacquelina, a renowned artist here. It was also the first movie that was shortlisted in the 77th Academy Awards in 2005 in the Foreign Language Film award. It was the most expensive movie which got multiple awards both in local and international scenes and a sold out local musical. The above sypnosis was from the musical but everyone in Malaysia all grew up reading and learning about this legend in schools.
Have a great week :D