If it’s good, it sells

The scene at Seri Taman, where Tun Dr Ismail, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra and Tun Abdul Razak Hussein confered

Acclaimed Malaysian film maker Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba’s prolific movie about the most trying time and crisis of two selfless leaders Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman had to endure between May 1969 till January 1976, ‘Tanda Putera’ which is scheduled to be released  for public screening on 13 September, would be postpone to an undisclosed time.

The excuse given is rather lame.

From gua.com.my:

Tanda Putera Ditangguh Bukan Bermotifkan Politik

19 JUL 2012, 11:14AM   |   MISS AYU  |    UTAMA > BERITA ARTIS >
Tanda Putera Ditangguh Bukan Bermotifkan Politik
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Filem mengisahkan perjuangan Perdana Menteri kedua Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak dan timbalannya, Tun Dr. Ismail, ‘Tanda Putera’ sudah pun mendapat tarikh tayangannya iaitu pada 13 September hadapan. Namun, secara tiba-tiba tarikh tayangan ini ditunda kepada satu tarikh yang tidak dapat dipastikan lagi.

Timbul dakwaan mengatakan penangguhan ini dibuat kerana bersangkutan dengan perihal politik. Kononnya mahu menunggu Pilihanraya ke -13 (PRU 13) selesai.

Dakwaan ini bagaimanapun dinafikan oleh Ketua Pengarah Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional (Finas), Mohd Naguib Razak. Jelas orang kuat Finas ini, penundaan tayangan ‘Tanda Putera’ tidak ada kena-mengena dengan agenda politik, mahupun PRU 13.

“Pada awalnya memang kami memang mahukan tarikh 13 September itu sebagai tarikh pembukaan tayangan. Namun setelah memikirkan pelbagai acara dan aktiviti bakal diadakan sempena Bulan Kemerdekaan dan sambutan Hari Ra ya, kami merasakan adalah lebih baik tarikh tayangannya ditunda bagi membolehkan filem ini dipromosikan dengan baik.

Bukan kerana pilihanraya yang bakal diadakan nanti. Filem ini cukup istimewa, sebab itu kami mahu pastikan ia berjaya dan mendapat sambutan memberangsangkan. Kami mahu filem ini ditonton oleh pelbagai lapisan masyarakat. Jadi, rasanya tidak perlu tergesa-gesa dengan tarikh tayangan. Biar lambat sedikit asalkan sambutannya nanti memuaskan hati,” ujar Naguib yang ditemui selepas prebiu ‘Tanda Putera’ di Cineleisure @ Curve pada Rabu.

Dalam masa yang sama, Naguib juga memberitahu pihaknya sedang merancang beberapa siri promosi sebagai salah satu strategi pemasaran filem ini. Jelasnya, bukan mudah untuk menarik minat orang ramai untuk menyaksikan filem bercorak sejarah sebegini.

“Apabila  kita mempunyai satu naskah filem yang baik, sudah pasti kita tidak mahu sia-siakannya dengan bergantung kepada tarikh wajib tayang. Kita perlu buat sesuatu supaya filem ini ditonton oleh peminat filem. Kami merancang untuk buat beberapa tayangan perdana di sekolah-sekolah dan universiti dan diharapkan cara ini boleh memberi publisiti positif,” ujar Naquib lagi.

Sementara itu, pengarah filem ini, Datuk Paduka Shuhaimi Baba memberitahu beliau akur dengan keputusan Finas untuk menangguhkan tayangan ‘Tanda Putera’. Baginya badan profesional itu pasti punya alasan kuat untuk berbuat begitu.

“Tidak dinafikan, apabila mendapat tahu pihak Finas mahu tangguhkan tayangan filem ini, saya berasa agak kecewa kerana segala promosi yang sudah dirancang perlu disusun semula. Bagaimanapun, saya percaya ia adalah keputusan yang baik. Pasti Finas ada strategi untuk memastikan filem ini berjaya di pawagam. Saya faham dengan situasi mereka dan terpulang kepada Finas untuk memilih tarikh tayangan yang dirasakan sesuai,” ujar Shuhaimi.

Filem Tanda Putera dibarisi oleh pelakon-pelakon berbakat seperti Rusdi Ramli, Zizan Nin, Faezah Elai, Linda Hashim, Norman Hakim, Riezman Khuzaimi dan ramai lagi. Filem itu diterbitkan oleh Pesona Pictures Sdn Bhd dan Finas dengan kerjasama Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC). Kos pembikinan filem ini menelan belanja RM4 juta.

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It doesn’t make sense at to postpone the release of the movie because of “activities”.

It was previewed to a selected audience including media on 17 July. Almost all who prevalently exited out from the cinema after the movie was screened, were teary-eyed. One could actually hear sporadic soft sobbinsg during some scenes in the movie. They saw how the two leaders endure challenges and gave the ultimate sacrifice to put Malaysia back on the rail towards unity, togetherness, progress and most important of all, mending the wounds of bloody racial riot of 13-16 May in the path of challenges from the extremists, subversive elements and communist terrorism.

The scene during National Operation Council (NOC)

And all agreed that ‘Tanda Putera’ is a great movie and its sense of historical events and all the mitigating circumstances of these events should be portrayed to Malaysians, especially the younger generation, so that the nation shall not repeat these events. It is about reliving Malaysia’s most trying formative years.

If it is that good, then it should sell. Malaysians would want to see this movie. The power of consumerism would be tested here amidst all pre-conceived connotations and prejudices about this movie. In short, it would be a very commercially viable, come-what-may what ever ‘activities’ that some would think that it would distract or impair the sale-ability of this movie.

Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, played by Rusid Ramli, making his rounds visiting the rural folks in his national and rural development program implementation

The minister-in-charge of Information, Communications and Multimedia, who is also responsible for the archives and antiquities, should ensure that the movie is out during this Hari Raya Aidil Fitri period, which also co-incide with school holidays. The Minister should use all the media available and friendly to him to promote and ‘sell’ this movie. More over, when National Film Board (FINAS) and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC) are collaborative partners to Pesona Production in making this much awaited movie happened.

Unless the minister-in-charge has some political motives for not being bold enough to challenge the younger Malaysians’ reaction as an outcome from the public screening of this movie. Then, the Prime Minister should be aware of what Tun Dr Ismail used to sound out if he had to face such an issue or situation; “Don’t sweep things under the carpet”. It is a matter of principle.

Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who was suffering from leukemia and Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, who was suffering from chronic heart disease and throat cancer

Majority of Malaysians don’t even know what Tun Razak did, how he did it and what challenges he faced. Let alone Tun Dr Ismail. His service as the Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister only lasted a little over four years. The duos’ contribution to what Malaysia is today from the decisions made within the five-and-half years are immense and very strategic. Some of their policies are still implemented till present day, as important tools of nation building.

Screen this movie. It is worth it. Commercially worth it. Historically worth it. Yes, to some people the truth hurts. But to majority of the people, this movie is so enlightening. Better to bite the bullet now, than later. It is the perfect ‘gift’ for Malaysians in this 55 years commemoration of nationhood.

Published in: on July 26, 2012 at 09:30  Comments (19)