Directed and written by Al Jafree Md Yusop, this satirical comedy is an adaptation of a classic by Oscar Wilde.
From the writer who champions aestheticism for the purpose of making art for art’s sake, Oscar Wilde introduced a play titled, The Importance of Being Earnest revolving around two characters trying to detach from societal duties by posing as a fictional man named, Earnest. The plot is effected when these two men went about with their new mask only to have fallen in love in their own pursuits that are filled with witty dialogue and distinctive yet head-strong supporting characters. With the modern rise of the play’s popularity, it has went through several adaptations through performances on the stage, opera, radio-drama and of course, films.
Al Jafree has written a local version of Wilde’s play since almost 15 years ago which came to be Mencari Rahmat which has also been staged several times in Malaysia. Mencari Rahmat is then produced as a film with the cast to name a few; Nam Ron, Amerul Affendi, Adibah Noor, Sharifah Amani and Nadia Aqilah; the film is known as a romantic comedy intertwined with satire that commemorates criticism on politics, economy and societal values.
However, in its core, it is still about the fight for romance against misconceptions and views on titles and ranks. Amerul Affendi expressed in an interview with the film’s production studio, AB Roll Sdn Bhd of his struggle of playing a man from the wealth of the first class or a West-Ender and warned of the immorality presented by the characters in the film. The film also went on to achieve nominations at Anugerah Majlis Pengkritik Filem Kuala Lumpur 2018 for categories like Best Director, Best Actor (for both Nam Ron and Amerul Affendi) and Best Actress (for Nadia Aqilah).
Mencari Rahmat has been featured many times in several cities and was screened at Kota Kinabalu Film Festival 2017 and has also been invited for an International Screening at Festival Film of Critics in Kolkata, India in 2019. The film will reach audiences at Dewan Sri Pinang, Penang (26th October), Khizanat, Ipoh (27th October), Corm, Jasin Melaka (3rd November), Localic, Kedah (14th November), USM Penang (18th November), Perpustakaan Awam Negeri Pahang (15th December) and UNIMAS, Sarawak (2oth December). With the themes and lessons on the consequences of lying about one’s identity, the adaptation also highlights the issues of how reputation and social class affect relationships and how vital it is to be sincere and earnest.
Featured Image source: the official poster of Mencari Rahmat.