Movie On Botak Chin - Eulogising A Criminal?
He said any Malaysian in his or her right frame of mind would not want to glorify such a character. “Moreover, Malaysians would not be interested in watching a glorified criminal,” he said.
However, he clarified that his Ministry was as yet unable to comment on the movie. “It is not fair for me to give comments on behalf of the Ministry on this matter. It isn’t exactly a national issue but we will definitely look into it. “That will come after we receive details on the movie,” he said, adding that they will need more information from the filmmakers, instead of newspaper reports. “I can’t comment on the ‘what ifs’. The facts need to be clear and only then can we give full comments.”
In a faxed statement on Friday, Astro Shaw, whose subsidiary Karya Anggun is expected to produce the film, with a working title of Botak, stated that the company and its subsidiaries are working on a few projects, most of which are in the research stage. It also said that announcements on each project will be made accordingly and only upon the approval of the various projects by the relevant parties.
Comments from the Home Ministry could not be obtained yesterday.
Last week, The Malay Mail front-paged the impending production of the movie and quoted its executive producer, Dominique Hee, as saying that the project is in the early stages of pre-production and that casting for the film has already begun. The principal photography is said to be scheduled for July and August next year.
According to the Press release issued by Sony Pictures, the movie will feature the exploits of Gang 306, headed by Botak.
Botak was described as a charming yet cold-blooded killer who detested both the triads and the cops and decided to take the law into his own hands. The film’s tag-line reads — ‘Every society gets the criminals it deserves’.
It is expected to be helmed by Dukun director Dain Iskandar Said.
News of the impending production has sparked debate due to the subject’s controversial nature. Several quarters have lauded the project as a bold move while others have preached caution as the movie could be construed as glorifying a convicted criminal.
The local filmmaking community has also questioned whether the producers have obtained approval from Bukit Aman, as is the norm for any venture that involves the portrayal of the police. So far, Bukit Aman has yet to receive any application from the filmmakers.
Chin terrorised Kuala Lumpur in the mid 1970s with a series of robberies, bloody inter-gang rivalries and run-ins with the police. Some people believed he was also a Robin Hood, robbing the rich to give to the poor.
Chin was hanged for his crimes on June 11, 1981.
****** So after the Chin Peng movie debacle, will this film meet the same fate? A question that I would like to pose is, whether there is anything inherently wrong in making a movie on a bad guy? You know, some kind of unwritten rule or pantang. It's not as if that after the screening, hordes of young chinamen are going to roam the streets gunning people down or robbing banks! I personally feel that as long as the Royal Malaysia Police is not put in a bad light or any unfair or damaging political imputation is made and if reasonable care is taken to not exaggerate his deeds/misdeeds it should be OK.
For all you know it might even invigorate and breathe some life into our lethargic movie industry with a new genre of films - Malaysian baddies. And if Bollywood were to capitalize on it we might even have an international audience with the next blockbuster, "From Bentong To Batang Kali - The Life And Times Of Bentong Kali" starring Shah Rukh Khan!
Labels: Malaysia - General