Posts Tagged ‘Abdul Fatthaah’

When my wife, my life long critique who would stop at nothing to cut me up even at the slightest of opportunities cried, I mean not a drop or two but a lot, after watching Hahdhu, then it’s a reason to rejoice. And it also means she’s impressed big time. Her feedback is all that mattered to me.

Though I have boasted about this movie for so long, this post is once again what I felt after watching it from the silver screen. The film was premiered for the media this evening at Schwack Cinema.

17358597_1910106685939773_899352771839415938_o

I am so overwhelmed with excitement and happiness that I don’t know from where to begin. The cast, the crew, I mean every department of this film were outstanding. Period. But I am going to start with newcomer Ahmed Shiban. All eyes were set on him ever since he was cast in the leading role. For me, he has come out with flying colors. He was in his character throughout the film. The way he handled his character’s introvert traits and his slow transition from the start to finish was commendable. Surprisingly, he was way too comfortable with the two leading ladies. And more surprising was his emotions were completely different with each lady. As for those six packs of his, he made the ladies swoon and guys green.

In my previous post, I have mentioned that this film is a tale of two leading ladies. The narrative intercuts between the lives of Yusra and Zamha played to perfection by filmdom’s most sought after actresses, Mariyam Azxza and Aminath Rishfa respectively. Though neither of them shares screen time in the film, they were neck and neck in their performances.

In Hahdhu, Azxza has given a flawless performance in a role that any actor would die for to sink their teeth into. And as Yusra, she bites deep into her character to show a variety of shades from a free spirited girl without boundaries to a girl who has to in the end draw a boundary around her. She was beyond brilliance showcasing a range of emotions as she handled her character with aplomb.

As for Rishfa, she is in a stellar form showing her acting abilities that we haven’t seen from her before. She brilliantly portrays the assured life of Yusra while showing the fragilities and volatilities of life when her own comes crumbling down. She allows the audience to go down with her and succumb to her sadness. She made us easily empathize with her character. She also showed great restraint in her acting. This is one stunning performance.

Dhon Ayya keeps raising the bar with each role he plays. In Hahdhu, he shows his vulnerability and his transformation to accept life as a changed person is so believable and very relatable. Another great performance by this promising actor. I wish great things happening for him.

After a long hiatus from films, veteran actor Fauziyya Hassan returns to the screen as an over cautious mother whose life spirals down to the point of no return when her pride is beaten to a pulp. She made my heart shatter into pieces in one of the pivotal scenes where she shows her acting prowess in a long play shot. Just magic.

This film is packed with stunning performances from the entire cast especially by the veteran actors along with Fauziyya. Add to that list, Mohamed Rasheed. He gives a top-notch performance as an understanding father who is also very philosophical. His performance is very controlled yet in his eyes and in his delivery allowed me to sink in with his emotions. This King rules.

Another veteran who shines and almost steals the shows is Arifa Ibrahim. She takes her acting to another level but supports everyone around her to excel with her as well. She does wonders with her one-liners. Truly brilliant.

Mariyam Shakeela is often an overlooked actor, but in Hahdhu, she gives a mesmerizing performance. Though she has few scenes, she allows the audience to understand her character’s inner and outer self especially in a crucial scene where her transformation is delivered without any dialog. Well done.

Honourable mention goes to Mariyam Haleem, Aminath Rasheeda and Gulistan for turning in equally great performances as strong independent women we rarely get to see in local films. This is by far their best performances in their careers. Also, I add Najah to the list as boat captain Mohamedbe from whose sympathetic eyes we get to witness the toughest of times that the principal characters go through.

The cute girl who plays the happy daughter of Rishfa takes on an emotionally charged role showing talent beyond her age. Her eyes are so expressive.

Lastly, in the acting department, TV anchor Ahmed Fairooz surprised everyone by bringing his small screen charm and charisma to the big screen with an unbelievable performance. He shows he has acting chops to compete with all the heavy weights of the filmdom. And his comic timing is spot on.

This film wouldn’t be complete without the thought-provoking songs written exclusively for the film’s narrative by Theyra and all the songs performed together with his wife Ashfa. Three cheers to them and the formidable and creative team behind composing and arranging all the songs including additional vocals to one of my favorite songs, Thaubaa. Ashfa’s haunting vocals to my favorite scene still lingers. Well done everyone.

On the technical side, kudos to the breath-taking cinematography by Kandi Vishan. Through his lens, he captivates the audience with the beauty of the islands in never-before seen footages in a local film thus far. This will easily register as his best and his finest of work.

Ju Ma has done an admirable job with makeup changing the actors so smoothly from glamorous to gloomy or vice-versa. He kept his tones and shades properly to the situation his characters were in with every scene. Moreover, his choreography to Giritee Loabin, all I can say is bravo!

When he is given a canvas with creative freedom, whiz kid, Ahmed Sajid has shown his magic in post-production. His editing crisp, well paced and color grading looks refreshing. And when his visual effects go unnoticed by the audience, then the job he has done is deemed perfect.

I wasn’t sure when musician Mistee was commissioned to compose the score for this film. But now I don’t see anyone else doing it. His music has given a new life to this film by enhancing the emotions of the actors and tying them directly to the heart strings of the audience. His build up to the climax is praiseworthy. He has done wonders and magic in the most pivotal scene of the film. Even as I type this, the goosebumps haven’t subsided. Brilliant work.

The team Hahdhu was made stronger by Umar Ashfaq and Hoodh Ahmed. They were the hard working production assistants. I congratulate them for a job well done.

I thank with all my heart to Niuma Mohamed and Abdul Fatthaah for producing this film which I wrote some 8 years ago for the latter. If not for them, my screenplay would still be lying on the shelf, collecting more dust and cobwebs. Thank you! Thank you!

Finally, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Abdul Fatthaah is the assured captain who sailed and steered this ship to new heights with such a multi-talented cast and a creative crew. In his long journey to bring my screenplay to screen, he inspired everyone in his team to outshine in their respective departments. I salute him for giving up on his old style of film making and after an absence of two years without directing a film, he returned by revamping himself by applying a very current style of film making for his 12th film of his career. The impact was immediately felt from the opening scene to the final credits. This feels like a film directed by a new director. This I consider his masterpiece.

This film will go down in the history of Dhivehi cinema as the first film to exhibit with 5.1 surround sound. Now that’s what I call setting benchmarks and developing the local film industry. Kudos to Fatthaah for giving the green signal. Once again it was Mistee who was at the helm of this audacious task along with Sajid at designing and mixing the sound. Their hard work has paid dividends and given this emotional roller coaster ride a thrilling experience. But sadly, the 5.1 surround will only be experienced from the cinemas owned by Schwack.

I hope that the audience will talk about this film even long after watching this film. For me, this film has clearly set a new benchmark. It’s well paced, well acted and technically brilliant and even innovative. I congratulate team Hahdhu and I do look forward to another film from them.

Cheers!

 

It was the night of 31st December of 2002, at the award ceremony of TVM’s Inter-Office Teledrama Competition which was held earlier that year, Ministry of Atolls Administration, the Ministry I represented with historical drama, November 3 was losing out in all the categories. The awards for best director and best drama were remaining. By then, I had given up hope on winning any from those two.

Though to win the best director award, the one and only award Atolls won that night, was a consolation, but receiving it from an exceptional film maker was a moment to cherish. It was not only an honor but even salvaged my New Year’s Eve from becoming a disappointment.

That was the first time I came face to face with this film maker who was not only an alumnus of this competition but also made a name for himself by previously winning best director three years in a row. His transition to filmdom was swift and successful. In a short span of time, he made it to the top of the finest directors’ list of the local film industry and to date, he still remains as a cut above the rest. He is director Abdul Fatthaah.

Fatthaah

Although that night I closed the door to this competition for good after having successfully represented Atolls for five consecutive years, winning a total of 14 awards, almost two years later, Fatthaah opened a new one for me.

It was one morning of January 2005, I was waiting outside my office which was located on the Marine Drive back then. Fatthaah stopped on his motorbike right next to me. He asked me for my mobile number which, without any hesitation, I gave. He went on his way and I went inside my office. A few minutes later, I received a call from an unknown number. I answered it and it was him. He said he just wanted to assure that if it was my number. I laughed and the rest was history.

As I look back on my 12 years of collaboration with him and still counting, it gives me a smile on my face and a joy to my heart as it was in this very collaboration that gave me the opportunity to develop and enrich my screenwriting craft. He gave me all the creative freedom to experiment whatever I wanted. And for that, I thank him with all my heart.

My first work with him was 2005 melodrama, Hureemey Inthizaarugai. But writing it was the most unconventional in my screenwriting career so far. Due to scheduling conflicts of the production, I had to write the third act first and within 08 days.

Since Fatthaah was a solid director and just to experience what it’s like to be breaking rules, I threw caution to the wind and decided to step out of my comfort zone. I only had few plot points that he gave me for the first, second act and couple of specific scenes that he wanted to stage for the third act. So based on all these points and scenes, I outlined the third act. It was both challenging and nerve wracking. But I must admit that it was fun.

In 2005, TV drama of 13 episodes, Kuramey Vadhaai Salaam, which Fatthaah directed was a starring vehicle for newcomer Mariyam Afeefa. It was a warm up for her to her leading role in the feature film, Vaa Loabi Engeynama produced by Fatthaah in 2006. The film went on to win a total of 12 accolades at the 5th National Film Awards including Best Picture and Best Actress for Afee.

On the late morning of 21st February 2006, Fatthaah and I met at West Park to discuss a TV drama of 52 episodes that he was going to produce and direct for TVM under his production banner, Red Productions. He already had a concept and a catchy title. He also had three actors selected for the lead. It was about the ups and downs of the life of two childhood female friends as they grew up on an island. He specifically wanted the first 32 episodes to be set in his birth island, Ha. Kelai. And the remaining episodes in Male’. The serial was called Hinithunvelaashey Kalaa.

Since I love writing on female protagonists, this serial had two, I instantly got hooked on his concept. It only took me a whole week to outline the entire serial. When I presented the outline, he had nothing to add. I started writing a day or two later.

Like yesterday, I still remember the hunger I had, which was over flowing from my mind and heart, when I wrote this serial. I was so drowned deep into this world of these two ladies, I even had to set a goal of writing an episode per day since Fatthaah sailed off with his cast and crew to start production. And yes, it took me 32 days to finish the needed 32 episodes.

I remember on weekends waking up in the middle of the night, starts writing and continued until late morning and sometimes until afternoon. I was writing non-stop. And it is in this very series that I refined my favorite of genre, rom-com. One of the main characters in this series was Inaa, who’s a bit tomboyish. But her interaction with Adeel, a drug addict who’s been banished to her island, has several unforgettable rom-com moments thrown around in several episodes. Their parts and the entire series was well received by the public.

Even after 11 years, I still feel upset when Fatthaah changed one of my favorite scenes I wrote in this series. Inaa was loved by her community and she does everything that men did including participating in a cultural stick dance only performed by men. But that stick dance scene of Inaa with all the men was altered by Fatthaah claiming that women don’t participate in such traditional dances. That was the whole point. Guess women empowerment was not a serious subject back then.

In 2007 I tried a full blown comedy with Aharenge Lha Daddy which Fatthaah produced and directed for TVM. Everyone loved this miniseries of 5 episodes which focused on an aging father who’s still young at heart and liked dating young girls.

Vaudhey Mi Ee was another TV series of 13 episodes he directed for TVM. He also wrote the first 8 episodes. But he commissioned me to write from episodes 9-13. It was aired in 2013.

Though we didn’t collaborate in any serials or films since 2013, I had a stint in writing 5 short documentaries on the environment that he directed for UNDP.

To think about the amount of writing I did for all the serials and films included, it’s like I have written a total of 35 feature length films of 90 minutes.

After his last film, Aadheys directed in 2014, Fatthaah is set to return to the silver screen with his 12th direction, Hahdhu with a loud bang. My prediction is that it’s going to be louder or loudest even. For this film, he has revamped his visual style completely. Though he has made his visual flair more current, he has added the most effective and challenging old-school film making technique, the long play. And he doesn’t over-do it. His new style has brought a sense of realism to the entire narrative of the film. And it has given the opportunity for every actor to shine brightly. And he hasn’t given up on showing off his eye for landscape either. The travelogue experience will be an added bonus.

Speaking of Hahdhu, it was written back in 2009 as a project he wanted to do with Dash Studio with an entirely different working title, on a simple concept he came up with. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the project was shelved. Guess it happened for a very good reason. Having it halted for 8 years, allowed him to mature, grow and when he gained his confidence, he completely overhauled his visual style. I salute him for the risk he has taken for the development of our local film industry and to entertain the audience who complains about local films not meeting their expectations. Hahdhu has all the right ingredients to blow out the expectation roof.

Hahdhu will be premiered on 06th September 2017.

Cheers!

 

 

 

Yesterday I completed the final episode of the last five episodes I was commissioned to write of VAUDHEKEY MIEE (THIS IS A PROMISE), the thirteen episodes television series that’s being directed by Abdul Fatthaah which was started airing on TVM few weeks back.

I’m collaborating with Fatthaah at writing a serial or anything for that matter after almost five long years since the popular series HINITHUNVELAASHEY KALAA (SMILE, YOU). And it feels good to be writing couple of episodes for him once again. And I’m still aware of his style and craft. The current serial is very much his cup of tea and I have given him enough scenes he can direct even with his eyes closed.

In the last five episodes, I tried as much as I can to tie up the loose ends of the first eight episodes he had written. He wanted the final episode to be a real tearjerker and I have created so many situations where the actors can cry themselves so much that if need be, they can dry up their tear glands by the time the serial ends and long after the end credits roll.

Fatthaah has already read the four episodes and confirmed them good. As long as he’s happy, I’m happy.

Last Friday night, the producers of INGILI, they are in no particular order, Ravee, Munavvaru and myself held a preview of the film for selected guests. After the show was over, we all had a good chat and listened to their feedback. Ravee was busy taking notes. Most of the feedback was positive and they all enjoyed the film which was restricted to a small hut with just two actors for the entire duration of the movie. Everyone praised the lively conversation of the two actors.

The very next day director Ravee made corrections to the final edit based on the very constructive comments given by the selected guests.

The three producers met yesterday to discuss on the final preparation of the movie. The main agenda was negotiating with a high profile studio for theatrical and DVD distribution of the film. The owner of this studio was eager to make a deal and will give us an answer inside this week.

We are hoping to release INGILI on February.

I have left the best for the last. As parents, the most exciting thing that happened to my wife and I were taking our son to school for the first time. The academic year started on January 14th and as the day drew closer, we were dreading the thought of taking him to school. It was an unexplainable fear that was creeping inside both of us ever since we enrolled him. But my son was feeling quite the opposite. He was very eager to start his very first play school.

He was in top form when he got ready. He was dancing and smiling and teasing with his cousin who was a year older and was starting junior nursery at the same school. The story was completely different once he entered his class. He started weeping. Infact all the kids were crying. The play school was more appropriate to be called the crying school. The whole of last week he went to school, well, he cried in the class. But with each day, he’s adjusting himself to his class, his teachers and his classmates. And he cries a lot less now.

So before I start to weep a tear or two, I say Cheers!

After carefully going through the already written eight episodes of VAUDHEKEY MIEE (THIS IS A PROMISE) which was written and being directed by Abdul Fatthaah, I have started writing the remaining five episodes. A little while ago, I just finished episode nine.

But I must confess that outlining the last five was not an easy task than I first thought it would be. Mostly when I outlined, I was forced to tie up several loose ends. And even in the last five episodes I had to redefine some of the key characters. Since the first four episodes were already shot, I didn’t have much choice to tweak the other written four episodes which goes behind the camera on 10th of this month. I wanted to do few adjustments here and there but realized that doing so would require rewriting all of them, meaning I won’t be able to complete them when the production resumes.

So I decided to leave them as it is and continue outlining the last five. I had to do a lot of research which again was done very little in the already written eight episodes. I hope to complete at least episode ten and eleven before Fatthaah leaves with his cast and crew to Eydhafushi of Baa Atoll. To do that I have only two days. And I have roughly a week to complete all five.

So without spending too much time, I cut short this post for now and turn my focus to write episode ten.

Cheers!

DAY ONE OF 2013

Posted: January 1, 2013 in Movies
Tags: , , ,

It’s only the first day of 2013 and I’m already finding myself occupied with work. Here are the updates.

I’m commissioned to complete the remaining five episodes of a thirteen episodes television serial called VAUDHEKEY MIEE (This is a Promise) which was started writing by director Abdul Fatthah for TVM. He is also directing it. He has already completed shooting the first four episodes and will sail out to the islands to shoot the other four. So before he completes the production, I need to write the rest which is also based on the same island.

Fatthah and I go long way back with television serials. The most serials I have written are for him especially HINITHUNVELAASHEY KALAA (Smile, You) of fifty two episodes which had a nationwide following and most of its episodes had an island setting.

He has given me a short deadline for the current task and I have the most difficult of hurdles to cross, reading the eight episodes he has written. Did I ever mention in any of my previous posts that I hate reading? Yes, I do, big time.

Then there’s a new producer whom I met last night through a good friend of mine. He asked me to write a full feature which is set to begin production around March. Fortunately, I  have a draft screenplay which I co-wrote with my writing partner, Ahmed Zareer for a production company who’s yet to pay us for our work. It’s been two years since then. However, this screenplay never saw the light of pre-production and was eventually shelved. Somewhere last year, I remember asking for their approval that I pitch it for a different producer. They did give me green light, verbally though. Anyway, I have mailed this draft to this new producer. I’m expected to have a feedback in a week’s time.

Then there’s another screenplay under a similar spell which has been shelved for three long years. But for this one, I have got the approval in writing, via the SMS I have exchanged with its producer. This screenplay is on standby to a high profile actor/ director/ producer who wants a screenplay real soon in case he doesn’t get the screenplay he asked from my writing partner Ahmed Zareer delivered before the short deadline.

Well, that’s all for now.

Cheers!