Monday, December 2, 2013

Afdlin Shauki , Papadom 2 & Sandakan Tears

On Nov 26 the sun ran a story  where I interviewed Afdlin Shauki who talked about his sequel to his hit film Papadom as well as co directing a Hollywood project that

Suggested Headline : The Return Of Undercover Dad

A father's love for his daughter is beyond question and comparison.Comedian and director Afdlin Shauki explores this emotion in the sequel to his hit film Papadom. Although the sequel was completed in 2012, it will only open in cinemas on Dec 12. When Afdlin’s Papadom hit the cinemas in 2009, it became a big hit. The story centred on a widower Saadom (Afdlin) who is over-protective of his daughter Mia (Liyana Jasmay). Feeling stifled, she moves to Kuala Lumpur to pursue a course on film-making.
Without her daughter’s knowledge, Saadom gets himself a job as a gardener in the university where she is studying to keep an eye on her. And the doting dad’s new job created the comedy moments for the movie.
Papadom made a huge impact at the 22th Malaysian Film Festival, grabbing the best film award as well as the best actor and best actress awards for Afdlin and Liyana respectively.
In the sequel, Afdlin and Liyana will reprise their roles as father and daughter. This time, Mia is working as one of the crew members at a film set. Through reliable sources, Saadom learns that three men on the set are interested in Mia and are trying to woo her.
He goes undercover as one of the extras on the set to investigate the men. He wants to make sure that only the best candidate gets to wed Mia. Once again, Saadom finds himself challenged and that makes for truly hilarious and chaotic scenes.In an exclusive interview, Afdlin shares his candid views on the film.

*Some sequels are never as successful as the original film. Are you afraid of that with Papadom 2?

“When I made Papadom, many people had doubts of the movie’s success. Our cinemas were flooded with gangster and ghost movies as the critics believed the audience was not keen on films about
family relationships. But Papadom turned out to be a success. I had invited a test audience to watch Papadom 2 and they liked what they saw.There are more conflicts and dramas in Papadom 2. All I can say is to bring lots of tissues to watch this movie.”

*Tell me what kind of a father are you? Are you anything like your character Saadom in Papadom?

“Like Saadom, I am also a workaholic. My children (he has three daughters, age between three and 14) complain that I do not spend enough time with them. But I work hard because I want to give them a better life. Saadom can be overbearing and overprotective and I am the same.
“In future, my daughters’ boyfriends are going to have a tough time dealing with me. I will scrutinise them like an FBI agent (laughs).”

*Do you prefer to be a comedian in front of the camera or working behind the scene as a director?

“No one wants to see an old actor like me on the screen any more (laughs). The audience are more interested in younger faces. So it is better that I move behind the camera as a director. I have no complaints as I enjoy my work. But there will come a time when no one wants to watch the kind films that I direct. Then I will have to change, again. Perhap by then, I will wear the hat of a producer. And if the time comes again when noone wants to see the kind films that I produce, then I will have to stop being a producer and put my mind into doing something else.”

*What is the next film you will be directing?

“I have two film projects currently in my mind. One is called Angkasawan that is set in a futuristic Malaysia – where we will send a second astronaut to space. There will be some comedy elements in the film.
“My next film may be called Jin Tiger, and it’s a black comedy about a gangster who finds faith, religion and wants to reform. But his gang members try to pull him back into a world of crime.”
All your films have comedy elements.

*Do you have any plans to direct a serious film?

“Yes. Next year, I plan to co-direct an English film called Sandakan Tears with a Hollywood director. Most of the cast and crew are going to be from Hollywood and Australia.The film is loosely based on our history of the so-called Sandakan Death Marches. Australian and British soldiers captured by the Japanese during WWII
were shipped to war camps in Sandakan (Sabah).
“They were tortured and given little food and medical care. Some prisoners were even forced to march through the jungle and as they reached the foot of Mount Kinabalu, the Japanese soldiers
shot and killed them.
“I am also the executive producer of the film and we have plans to distribute the movie, internationally. I believe it is story that the world would love to see.”

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