Sunday, February 15, 2009
This little big film absolutely threw me for six.
I'm not a fan of Colin "see-how-good-I-look-when-I-brood" Farrell. And with very few exceptions from Hitchcock and Kitano, crime thrillers usually thrill me about as much as a plate of boiled fish.
But right from the word "Go", this small story, set in the small Belgian town of Bruge, shook me to my foundation.
As a writer of screenplays, I marvelled at the deftness with which Martin McDonagh roused every human emotion possible to make me sympathise with, believe it or not, three MURDERERS, making me laugh and cry with each character, all the way, right until the very end.
Not since Almodovar's "Talk To Her" and Neil Jordan's "Mona Lisa" did I sit back after watching a film and thought, "Damn, I wish I had written that script!"
I rank this head and shoulders above all other films I've seen this year and most of last year, including, yes, the much lauded "Slumdogs".
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
On the 29th of December, 2008, my crew and I shot this commercial in Ipoh. It was a one-day shoot, alhamdulillah.
I had written a script, based on the true story of Encik Shahrul's family, or more specifically, of his youngest child, Adlan.
Adlan was an extreme autistic who, for 7 years, behaved like he was trapped in a bubble, unable to communicate with the outside world, and vice versa.
What finally brought him out of that state is shown in the commercial you see here.
The dog is the most misunderstood animal in this country. Its haters, I'm sad to say, are largely Malays who often don't even know the difference between "haram" and "najis", let alone the finer points and different degrees of najis.
With this little film, I urge my people to read more about the true Islamic rules concerning this beautiful creature of God, and to please refrain from being cruel to it.
Let's do this for Allah.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Inshaallah, come February the 26th, something which almost never happens, will happen.
It's called a "re-release", and it's scheduled to take place at the Cathay Causeway Point cinema.
As some of you may know, our film was severely maligned by one local journalist who could not tell the difference between Quranic and Biblical verses, but never bothered to find out, and went on to accuse me of being a religious pluralist.
Consequently, there was a sort of cyberspace persecution, where bloggers and forumers who had never even seen the film embarked upon a blind crusade to send me to hell. And to think that they were attacking the very same film which made many people in Japan and Singapore, both Muslims and non-Muslims, look up the Holy Quran and later confess how they found it beautiful.
Perhaps that's why the mere thought of "Muallaf" resurfacing, despite all those attempts to suppress it, now moves me so deeply.
"If Allah helps you, none can overcome you. If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In Allah, then, let believers put their trust." - Al-Imran, 3:160.