Want to shake things up with a bit of local flavour on your plate this month?
As part of our on-going efforts of showcasing Malaysian creative content, we want you, our readers, to have a look at these movies coming out over the course of the month and decide for yourself if they’re worth watching.
Before we begin, a bit of backstory: trying to track down Malaysian output at the cinemas proved a little bit harder than expected. Aside from a Cinema Online database on upcoming films, we had no idea where else to go.
Naturally, we called up FINAS to find out what else is playing for the month of July. Unfortunately, the woman on the other end of the line didn’t seem to echo our enthusiasm and put us on hold for a whole seven minutes before we gave up.
Sorry guys, she clearly didn’t give a shit so our Cinema Online ‘coming soon’ guide will do.
In any case, we kick off with quite the odd combo: Tamil movie Vere Vazhi Ille and Chinese film Courage To Dream are both released on the 2nd of July. Put them side by side and we’re looking at the perfect example of counter-programming.
We’re quite keen for some Courage To Dream, only because it’s the first movie ever to star the people of Tapah, Perak.
That’s right folks, Tapah. Courage To Dream literally follows the folks of Tapah as they go through some major drama and persevere through it.
First-time director David Liew chose to make the film about his hometown after the passing of his father. You can read more about this from his interview with The Star, where he also affirms our worst suspicions: none of these are trained actors.
So what are its chances? It’s hard to say judging from the trailer, but it does seem promising. Given the simple, low-budget filming process, we think the film looks passable for a wide release.
A risky venture perhaps but hey, he’s just following his dream and we’re very curious as to how it will all pan out once Courage To Dream goes wide.
Opening on the same day as mentioned is Vere Vazhi Ille, a Tamil horror/comedy film. Local Tamil films don’t really have a strong track record at the box office but will this one break the curse?
In Vere Vazhi Ille, protagonist Surya is hired as a security guard for a good sum of money to take care of a shopping mall while mysterious things happen on the sixth floor. Before long, things get creepy with some possessions, evil spirits and black magic thrown into the mix.
Director M.S. Prem Nath (who used to edit for KRU Films) is behind this project, which stars Denes Kumar and Jasmine Michael, two of Malaysia’s more popular Indian talents. Also worth noting is the fact that this film is handled by Veedu Productions, whose Vetti Pasange was a huge success for a local Tamil film, generating RM339,000 in local box office receipts.
Vere Vazhi Ille seems to look decent from the trailer and we’re quite hyped up for this one. We think it could have a fighting chance; expect a review from us soon!
After the initial burst of energy on our homefront, the second week of July is largely silent. But things pick up steam again on week three, when we have another double release just in time for Hari Raya Aidil Fitri!
On the 17th we see the release of Gangsterock: Kasi Sengat. Despite the cringey title, this film boasts quite an impressive cast. We’re talking Soffi Jikan, Sharifah Amani, Nam Ron, Aqasha, Saiful Apek and Izara Aisyah.
This action slash romance slash musical extravaganza also boasts a ridiculous amount of cameos from local celebrities and artists, among them Chef Wan, Fauziah Nawi, Kopratasa and the late Harun Salim Bachik.
According to news site Tabloid Seni, Gangsterock: Kasi Sengat cost over RM1.5 million to produce, with a sum of RM400,000 going towards CGI. Box office potential? Probably very, very high.
With all the names and numbers we’ve thrown at you, does it still matter what the story is actually about? In any case, Gangsterock: Kasi Sengat follows the lives of two gangsters and two rock musicians whose paths intertwine. Watch the trailer if you’re still not convinced.
Also taking advantage of Raya is Eyra Rahman‘s Suamiku Jatuh Dari Langit. This marks the third movie of the year to have the word suami in its title, the other two being Suamiku Encik Perfect 10! and Suami Aku Ustaz.
Suamiku Jatuh Dari Langit is another addition to MIG Pictures‘s line-up of moneymakers and this one should not disappoint. Starring Nora Danish and Qi Razali, Suamiku Jatuh Dari Langit tackles family bonds, religion and love in the style of a romantic-comedy. Also in the movie are Syuk SYJ, Atikah Suhaime and Izzue Islam.
We must admit; it’s a strong choice for counter-programming seeing that it’s going head to head with Gangsterock: Kasi Sengat. Will both films triumph? Most probably.
Judging from the trailer, Suamiku Jatuh Dari Langit looks like an amusing romance drama with a generous serving of Malay culture and Islamic values. Are some Malaysian filmmakers exploiting Islam in an effort to go viral? Hmm, something to think about.
Closing the month is CCTV, due on the 30th of July. After all the glitz and glamour from our star-studded Raya releases, we have a horror film starring Aeril Zafrel, Ardell Aryana and Hasnul Rahmat.
CCTV tells the story of a man who is tasked to repair a closed-circuit camera in an old hospital. Naturally, he gets into an accident and ends up as a patient in the old hospital. Strange things happen.
This is no low-budget DIY project; Budiey reports that CCTV cost RM1.5 million to make.
CCTV is Daven R.‘s official debut as a director, but he has had extensive experience in film. He served as cinematographer on notable projects such as Gong, Susuk, Mr. Cinderella 2, and most recently, Gamatisme.
Watch the trailer and evaluate for yourself if it’s worth your pennies.
That’s all the movies we have to look forward to in July and we hope this has been informative. See you again next month, when we explore August’s releases.