Sunday, August 7, 2016
theSun talks to the director and the main actors of the movie Pekak which will hit the cinemas on Sept 1. Here is the movie
Headline: Hearing A Different Beat
By Bissme S
“You cannot please everyone,” says the 35-year-old director. “Pekak is not everyone’s cup of tea.”
Opening in cinemas on Sept 1, Pekak centres on deaf boy Uda, who sells drugs in order to pay for a surgery that will restore his hearing. His path crosses with Dara, a troubled schoolgirl who longs to escape from her overbearing father. Romance soon blossoms between the two. Playing the lovers are Zahiril Adzim and Sharifah Amani. Others in the cast include Sharifah Sakinah, Amerul Affendi, Iedil Putra, Zaidi Omar and Joe Flizzow. Khairul says:
“If you analyse my film carefully, you will realise that my hero is not the only one who is ‘deaf’. Other characters have perfect hearing, but they refuse to listen.”
In the film, Uda who is not allowed to listen to music is frequently seen wearing T-shirts featuring famous music bands.
“I wanted to add a touch of irony in my film,” says Khairul, who also wrote the screenplay for Pekak.
The director is not afraid to break away from typical romantic drama tropes with his two leads.
“I do not want to present a stereotypical hero.”
Those familiar with literature might notice that the names of the lead characters are taken from the classic, tragic love story written by the late Usman Awang, Uda & Dara. But the similarities end there.
“I wanted to take familiar names and use those names in a modern setting and a totally different situation,” he explains.
For Khairul, his favourite scene in Pekak is when Uda’s boss, a drug pusher, gives Uda tips on how to win Dara’s heart. The scene adds some humour to the film.
Speaking about the challenges of portraying Uda, the 32-year-old Zahiril describes the internal conflicts his character faces as the result of his refusal to accept the fact that he is deaf.
"Uda is always seeking a ‘cure’ for his deafness,” he says.
“He will read lips and will try not to use sign language.”
Uda being deaf does not have much dialogue, so Zahiril has to rely on his facial expressions and body language to express the character’s emotions.
“I love that challenge,” he says.
“There are so few good scripts in our industry that challenge your boundaries as an actor, and test your acting skills. When a role like this comes your way, you do not think twice. You just grab it. After a long gap, I finally got a role that I am really excited about. ” Zahiril loves the fact that the director bravely shows the dark gritty reality of the illegal drug trade.
“Pekak is not a sweet romance movie. It walks on the dark side.” Award-winning actress Amani desperately wanted to be in Pekak after she learned who else were signed to the project.
“I am a huge fan [of most of them],” says Amani, 30.
“They are really good actors.” She believes one way an actress can improve her acting skill is if she acts alongside talented co-stars.
“I begged the director to let me audition,” she said.
“I literally chased after the role.”
Speaking about her character, she says: “Dara hates her life. She desperately wants to escape. Unfortunately, no one really listen her. Not her father and not even her best friend. The irony is the only person who really listens to her is a deaf boy.”
She believes Pekak is a teen angst movie that will touch hearts and minds.
“He exists for her, and she exists for him,” she adds.