Thursday, December 31, 2015

Osman Ali & Langit Cinta

Today is New Year. theSun published my interview with the film director Osman Ali who talks about his film Langit Cinta and the women in his life

Headline: A Twist To The Tale 
By Bissme S

When director Osman Ali came out with his film, Ombak Rindu, in 2011, it became a boxoffice hit, collecting more than RM10 million nationwide. The story centres on a poor girl and a rich man who go through many hurdles before finding happiness with each other. Now, some critics are saying Osman is rehashing that storyline for his latest film, the romantic drama Langit Cinta, which will open in cinemas on Jan 7. 
Produced by Astro Shaw, Langit Cinta centres on a kampung girl, Khadejah, who falls for a rich man’s son, Aliff, when he visits her fishing village. Naturally, the young couple faces objections from Aliff’s rich parents. 
Osman, 42, claims he has given Langit Cinta a completely different treatment from that of Ombak Rindu. He insists that the only things Ombak Rindu and Langit Cinta have in common are that both movies deal with nature and love, and feature strong female characters. 
Osman loves to put the focus on his female characters in most of his films. He says: “Women lead far more dramatic and interesting lives than men. I grew up surrounded by women, and the women in my life are strong souls who have risen above adversities.” 
He cites as an example his late maternal grandmother, who was left to care and support the family after her husband, a fisherman, became bedridden. 
“My grandmother was a young mother with four children to feed,” he recalls. 
“But she did not allow the tragedy to break her.” 
Bravely, his grandmother took out her husband’s fishing boat to sea and started catching fish herself. 
“When I was young boy, I remember following my grandmother to sea to catch fish.” 
Osman adds that parts of Langit Cinta are also loosely based on his own parents’ story. He points out that about 30% of the plot, especially on how the two lead characters meet, is based on how his own parents met and fell in love. His mother was from Koh Kiam, located in southern Thailand, and his father was from Langkawi. “He saw my mother and it was love at first sight,” he says, adding that his father was also touched by how this beautiful woman was lovingly taking care of her parents. 
Langit Cinta stars Nur Fazura and Keith Foo in the leads, and supported by Farid Kamil, Fauziah Ahmad Daud, Dian P. Ramlee and Siti Saleha. 
Some people felt Osman has made a mistake casting Nur Fazura as a girl from a small fishing village. The award-winning actress is best known for playing modern city girls, from a distinctly urban background. 
“When I cast Ning Baizura as a midwife in Malaikat Di Jendela, everyone said the same thing,” Osman (right) points out. 
“But [later], everyone said that Ning played the role convincingly. “The same thing happened in Ombak Rindu [with Maya Karin in the lead]. In the end, Maya impressed everyone.” 
The director admits that he likes to take risks where casting is concerned. 
“I like to put my actors in roles that audiences have not seen them before. When you take your actors out of their comfort zone, they will bring something new to their roles.” 
As Langit Cinta is set in a fishing village, Osman – who is known for taking the trouble to find suitable locations for his films – had initially wanted to shoot the film in Koh Kiam, the island where his parents first met. Unfortunately, it was too expensive, and he had to settle for Pulau Tuba and Pulau Dayang Bunting, off Langkawi instead.
“Location is an important prop in my shoots,” he says. “A location can [set] the landscape of your movie, and create the atmosphere that your film needs.” 
The film was shot in September. As it was the rainy season, he had to cancel some shoots that were supposed to take place at sea.
 “The sea was not calm, and I could not put the lives of my actors in danger,” he explains. 
With Langit Cinta completed and ready for release, Osman is already working on his next film. Kau Yang Satu, which focuses on arranged marriages, is adapted from a well-known novel by Nia Azalea. 
The story centres around Taufik and Salina, who are forced to get married by their parents. Heartthrob Aaron Aziz and actress Izara Aishah will play the newlyweds. Osman says the film is likely to open in cinemas in the middle of next year. 

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