I remembered seeing the trailer for KIL for the first time two years ago (I think) on YouTube and making an unfair (and unfounded, I supposed) comment to my friend on the visuals that employed a somewhat conspicuous amount of depth of field that felt rather cliché. I’d have to say I was nevertheless looking forward to the finished product as the plot was not obvious from the trailer[1]. It did involve the topic of suicide. And Harun Salim Bachik in a Reservoir Dog-esque black-and-white suit combo with cigarette to boot. Who wouldn’t wanna see that, homage or otherwise?

The film was finally released last May and as I was not gonna be in KL until Raya, I had to just wait for the DVD to come out. And I finally watched 2 weeks ago[2]. What can I say? For a film made by a first-timer, and on a budget, I was blown away!

Malaysian films have come a long way but for KIL, the story just did it for me. I just don’t know how to say more without giving the story away to people who still haven’t gone to see it. The story revolves around Akil (superbly played by Redza Minhat) who seems to be wanting to end his life despite numerous, and unsuccessful, methods of suicide. The reason for Akil’s death wish is not made known to the audience until later. Akil then finds a flyer of a company which appears to have make one’s death wish come true but at a price – once you sign on the metaphorical dotted line, there is no turning back. As life has a perverse way of doing things to a person, Akil’s life then started to change slightly for the better, especially after bumping into Zara (the delightful Cristina Suzanne Stockstill) who recently moved into an apartment near to him. How can Akil now get away from his destiny with death, which he doesn’t know where or when it will happen.

One aspect of the storytelling I loved was the exposition which doesn’t really tell you the whole story until the very end, even though earlier on you think you know what’s what and who’s who. The chemistry between Akil and Zara was great, and from the extras section of the DVD, it was described that the actors could ad lib which meant that there were some great deadpan lines uttered by Redza especially[3]. The pace was good without any dodgy editing, and the music written by SCTS’ Duan was superb. I am not painting this as the most perfect film ever but for what it is, I really enjoyed watching it.

KIL was directed by Nik Amir Mustapha and he is currently editing[4] his sophomore effort, Bikin Filem, which stars Bront Palarae and Sharifah Amani. I am really looking forward to that. If you haven’t seen KIL, go ahead and get the DVD. Mine was the last copy the Speedy outlet at the OU new wing had, but I was told[5] that copies of it are still being sold.

[1]Which I applaud, really.
[2]I’ve been wanting to write this since. Honest.
[3]Like how he was with Maya Karin’s character in Pisau Cukur. Loved his “tak tanya pun” quip to Zara when they first met!
[4]So says his mom on the TTDI@Facebook page.
[5]So says his mom. Again.