Mahdi Ahmed

in writing

Posts tagged ‘Aminath Rishfa’


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.


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.





I rate Aminath Rishfa as one of the few determined actors working in the local film industry today endowed with beauty, talent, and self-confidence. She is truly in a league of her own. She takes her roles in her own creative manner, spins them and delivers with unexpected gusto and she has never failed to surprise me, every time.

There, I have rated her. End of my post. Cheers!

BeFunky Collage

No way I can end this. A little while ago, I just watched some of her newly edited scenes of her upcoming film, Hahdhu and I have so much to write. Speaking of which, there’s an inside joke that if I start writing, my posts end up as essays. Here’s a disclaimer this time. I will not be responsible if this post causes eye strain.

Very recently I posted my very thoughts on Rishfa as a status update on my FB account and now this, I thought, I would, here on my blog. Consider this a follow-up but on a different platform. And yes, it’s going to be a long piece. So here I am feeling all keyboard happy and delighted to have seen almost all of her scenes.

If my memory serves me right, Rishfa’s arrival into filmdom was at a time when the undying love for Dhivehi films was in distress. The audience was demanding for fresh faces. Her debut was in a song appropriately titled, Dheyshey mi bunaa loabi translated, give (me) this love I’m asking.  But it was her second song with established actor, Mohamed Manik that made her so popular. In this song, she appeared like an angel and restored the much-needed love and hope of the audience. And coincidentally she was in all whites, sans feathery wings though.

After that song, she became the most sought-after actress appearing in many video songs, later stepping into TV series before hitting the big screen.

My favorite director, Ravee Farooq’s segment of Hatharu Halha anthology called Qaathil was her first work on a screenplay that I have written, I mean, co-written to be precise. Yes, that unfortunate anthology that has been delayed at post-production indefinitely. But I’m still hopeful that we will get to see it.

In Ravee’s segment, she plays a vulnerable friend of a very manipulative female drug addict. The former hit a moral dilemma whether to compromise her friendship or turn in for a heinous crime they have committed. She was up against Mariyam Majda who at that time started working in feature films. Both ladies gave terrific performances and they were also very bold at accepting their respective roles. Since Ravee,  in my opinion, was unfairly removed from the project, I heard, I repeat, I heard that his segment went through a harsh re-editing which derailed the director’s original vision that not only hurt both actor’s no holds barred performances but also the film’s brooding narrative. But I hope what I heard was untrue.

When Rishfa was cast in Dhilakani directed by Hussain Munawwar, honestly, I wasn’t any sure if she could pull off her character. It was only her role in this film that I was doubtful of.  She was in a supporting role in which her emotions had to be restrained yet she had be, to by nature, very positive. Her character was the only ray of light in a very dark toned narrative which focuses on a man’s tumultuous journey to avenge his brother’s death. But she proved me completely wrong by giving an outstanding performance that out did my original perception of her character. She made the character more joyful, playful, yet layered and controlled. No wonder she won the best-supporting actress award for her role at the Maldives Film Awards 2012.

Later, she was cast in Ali Seezan directed Ahsham in which she played a very independent woman, a role she played with her eyes closed.

In my above-mentioned FB status, I remember stating how tasteful Rishfa’s scenes have made to the entire narrative of Hahdhu. And with more new scenes of her’s added, it’s getting tastier and tastier. It made me feel like I didn’t want to finish sipping that freshly brewed cup of tea with a dash of Jasmine. And when I was done watching, I wanted another cup.

In Haddhu, she plays Zamha, a woman with her life all sorted out who suddenly finds her whole life crumbling down before her own eyes drowning herself in a fathomless sea of grief. She handled her character arc so well allowing the audience to experience both stages of her life. Previously I watched this one song of hers with several missing shots. But today, when I watched that same song completed with all the missing shots, I felt as if someone forcefully squeezed my heart. And half way through the song, my flood gates opened. Risfa was brilliant and I regard this as the best performance of her career by many miles. Director Fatthaah was observing me and the smile on his face, I am so sure would even put the Cheshire cat to shame.

Hahdhu will be premiered on 06 September 2017. Tickets are now available from Olympus.