Muallaf

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Muallaf
Muallafsg.jpg
Muallaf Singapore poster
Directed by Yasmin Ahmad
Produced by Rosnah Kassim
Starring Brian Yap
Sharifah Amani
Yeo Yann Yann
Sharifah Aleysha
Distributed by MHZ Film Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia)
The Picturehouse (Singapore)
Release date
  • 27 November 2008 (2008-11-27) (Singapore)
  • 24 December 2009 (2009-12-24) (Malaysia)
Country Malaysia
Language English
Malay
Cantonese
Budget RM 1.3 million
Box office RM 190,000

Muallaf is a 2008 Malaysian drama film directed by Yasmin Ahmad. It tells a tale of three souls finding solace in religion. This is Yasmin Ahmad's fifth film after Rabun, Sepet, Gubra and Mukhsin.

Cast[edit]

Actor/Actress Character Notes
Brian Yap Brian Goh1 History teacher at Rohana's school
Sharifah Amani Rohani Rohana's elder sister, 20/21 y/o
Sharifah Aleysha Rohana Rohani's younger sister, 14 y/o
Rahim Razali Datuk Rohani and Rohana's abusive father
Ning Baizura Datin Rohani and Rohana's stepmother
Tony Savarimuthu Bro. Anthony Catholic priest and Principal of Rohana's school
Hazel Fernandez Mrs Siva Rohana's Arts teacher
Yeo Yann Yann Cindy Rohani's colleague at Sid's Tavern Pub & Cafe
Tan Mei Ling Mrs Goh Brian's mother
Ho Yuhang Datuk's private investigator
Haris Zakaria Little Brian
Shana Shafiza Muzaffar Shah Mei Ling Coma girl

Footnote:

  • ^1 Brian Yap's character was initially planned to be named Robert Ng.

Closure[edit]

  • It was not clear what had happened to Rohana. However, it could be assumed that Rohani had finally met up with Rohana considering that she had volunteered to take care of her stroke-hit father who had snatched away Rohana earlier.
  • It was not shown explicitly whether Brian was attracted to Rohani or the religion of Islam itself. If Brian was in love with Rohani, this would probably mark the first time Yasmin concealed the romantic relationship in films that contain the agenda of love.

Screening[edit]

As Yasmin's previous films, Muallaf opened with the usual Islamic verse "In the name of God, the most Gracious and most Merciful" (Bismillahirahmanirrahim). What set Muallaf apart from her previous works was that the verse was displayed in Chinese in this movie, i.e. "奉大仁大慈真主的尊名" (Pinyin: fèng dà rén dà cí Zhēn Zhǔ de zūn míng). It was understood that the verse would be displayed in Tamil in her next film, Talentime.

As Yasmin's second feature film, Sepet, Muallaf was first screened in Singapore instead of Malaysia, where it was shot. The film ran for 4 weeks in Singapore from 27 November to 24 December 2008, recording turnouts more than that of Sepet. Muallaf was first denied screening in Malaysian cinemas due to the Malaysian censorship authorities request of key scenes to be cut, thus rendering the story meaningless. However, 1 year later, Muallaf finally opened in Malaysia nationwide on 24/12/09 with a few dialogues muted.

International participation[edit]

Awards won[edit]

  • 21st Tokyo International Film Festival (18 - 26 October 2008) ~ Special Mention Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film
  • 2010 Screen Awards - Best Film & Best Actress in a Leading Role (Sharifah Amani)

Official selection[edit]

  • 61st Locarno International Film Festival (6 - 16 August 2008)
  • 13th Pusan International Film Festival (2 - 10 October 2008)
  • Rialto Film Festival, Amsterdam - New Malaysian Cinema

Reviews and Interviews with Yasmin Ahmad on the film[edit]

Singapore

Indonesia

Malaysia