Chauly The Comic

20 Nov

Chauly (right) with the Pisau Cukur cast (from left) Aaron, Fazura and Maya.

Bernard Chauly’s Pisau Cukur is the filmmaker’s maiden attempt at comedy. HIZREEN KAMAL finds out more from the director about the movies promising

razor-sharp humour.

Chauly (right) with his Pisau Cukur production crew.

ON the set of a film shoot at Astaria Apartment’s swimming pool in Ampang, Bernard Chauly sits calmly in the director’s seat with a loud hailer in his hands.

As soon as he calls “cut!”, the young director plonks on the nearby white poolside chair and speaks candidly of his latest effort, romantic comedy Pisau Cukur, the movie he is filming.

The movie, whose script is written by Rafidah Abdullah of 3R fame, is due to be released next year.

Co-produced by Red Films and Grand Brilliance Sdn Bhd, the film marks Chauly’s first attempt at comedy.
Pisau Cukur is about two young women Bella (Maya Karin) and Intan (Nur Fazura Sharifudin) who hook up with men for material gain.

So into the picture come three Datuks, their respective wives, a private detective and a die-hard fan of Bella’s.

They’re all “trapped” on board a luxury cruise liner where the adventure is played out. A bit of mystery is thrown in as well.

The movie also stars Aaron Aziz, Eizlan Yusof, Umie Aida, Datuk Rahim Razali, Liyana Jasmay, Sharifah Sofea, Khatijah Tan and Nas-T, with cameos by Nabil of Raja Lawak, Afdlin Shauki, Nabila Huda, Yasmin Yusuff and Rafidah.

“It’s a romantic comedy with a twist, really. It has a tight script by Rafidah, easily the sharpest script she has ever written. It’s a great challenge and inspiration to me,” he said.

With two leads (Maya and Fazura), there are two intersecting storylines – one a romantic story, while the other has an investigative plot line.

“There are huge challenges in doing a comedy. It’s not easy to make people laugh but I will try my best to deliver,” he said.

“In this film, the audience will find comedy in everything, from the witty lines, the juicy plot lines, the acting, the fun wardrobe and even the music score.

“I am exploring a rather fresh style and tone for comedy here with a new treatment for the story and characters.”

Pisau Cukur features punched-up realism and is made to feel unnatural – the wardrobe, the characterisation and the acting are all slightly larger-than-life.

“And it’s in this that I think the fun and comedy are going to come from,” said Chauly.

“But it’s not over-the-top melodramatic,” he added, citing Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives as references for the film.

Chauly uses the green screen for special effects. However, the computer-generated images would only constitute 20 per cent of the film.

“Skies and seas are going to be spectacular. It’s going to be beautiful,” he declared, adding that, even though the movie is about a holiday on board a ship, most of the scenes are recorded in a studio, with some scenes shot in the Klang Valley and Port Dickson.

While comedy definitely takes centre stage, Chauly said that the movie is also a character-driven film. “The audience will be able to feel with the characters and follow their transformation throughout the movie. There’s a lot of heart in the romance, while the friendship between Intan and Bella is fun and feisty,” he said.

In 2005, the 35-year-old delighted local audiences with Gol & Gincu. Never mind that it only collected RM700,000 at the box office, the movie created a buzz and saw a spin-off television series, aired over 8TV, which went on to become one of the highest rated shows for the station.

Since then, Chauly’s fresh approach to film directing has won over many, with his fans waiting in anticipation for his next movie.

“I have worked with Fazura in both the movie and TV series

(Gol & Gincu), but not Maya.

“I would not have chosen Maya solely on her popularity. I spoke to her earlier about the role, and asked her to come in for a couple of reads and also to see how well she worked with different actors. It wasn’t an audition but an opportunity to become comfortable with each other as we haven’t worked together before.

“I must say I respect Maya for her hard work, determination and instincts.”

Chauly said Pisau Cukur is punchy and hence all lines must be delivered well.

“It’s an entertaining style and both of them have what it takes,” he said, adding that there would be a dance scene where Maya will be doing the cha cha.

Chauly, who is already embarking on another project, the film Nenek Unta, hopes that the “Maya-Fazura combination” would draw moviegoers.

On his expectations for the movie, he said: “Well, we don’t make films to ‘syok sendiri’ (please ourselves). We want people to enjoy them and also get the film’s message.”

“We want it to be profitable too,” he said, adding that there’s a possibility for a spin-off TV series, but for now, he just wants to see the film do well.

“The film’s plot lines and characters may be a little urban, but I think it’s going to attract the masses as well. Everyone knows someone who is materialistic and so, yes, I believe it has universal appeal. Besides, it’s not stereotyped comedy.”

Chauly, who is also Red Communications creative consultant, is also busy travelling to and fro between Kuala Lumpur and Manila to oversee the Gol & Gincu TV series due to be aired over Manila’s TV5 channel.

Called Goal & Girls, the Philippine version in Tagalog features a new Filipino cast.

He is also working on a television series called Blogger Boy, slated for release over 8TV next year.

New Straits Times

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