Director responds to negative audience comments about Malaysian hit film Mat Kilau after it streams on Netflix
Syamsul Yusof said he’s happy and thankful that all the online chatter has caused the film to be trending. “We will celebrate no matter if the comments are negative or positive.”
Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan broke box office records in Malaysia earlier this year when it became the fastest film to gross RM47 million (US$10.3 million) in just 11 days. It's also now the country's highest grossing film of all time.
However, the enthusiasm for the film hasn’t translated to the streaming audience. The film has been receiving negative comments since it started streaming globally on Netflix on Sep 16, with people saying that it didn’t live up to the hype. The film will only stream in Indonesia from Oct 14.
One person wrote: “Syamsul Yusof extends his unbroken streak of terrible filmmaking. If you only pay attention to the dialog, it also works as comedy.”
Another said the production was like “early 2000s” and added that “the colour is painful to watch”.
However, the film’s director, Syamsul Yusof, is taking all comments – good and bad – in his stride.
The 38-year-old told online publication BH Online that he’s still “the happiest film director in the world”.
"I accept every criticism, whether it's good or bad. That's normal to me. So long as audiences continue watching the film,” he said.
He added that it was common for a filmmaker to evoke such responses, and he’s experienced that even with his films that were box office successes. However, he’s happy and thankful that all the chatter has caused the film to be trending. “We will celebrate no matter if the comments are negative or positive.”
Syamsul also directed Malaysia's previous highest grossing film, the horror flick, Munafik 2.
Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan is inspired by local historical figure Mat Kilau from the late 19th century who fought against the British in Pahang before independence. It stars Adi Putra, Beto Kusyairy, Fattah Amin, Johan Asri and Rahim Razali.