THERE are many action films, but few depict real heroes from the armed forces, who put their lives on the line.
Filmmaker Adrian Teh, a fan of Hollywood war movies like Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan, will soon introduce viewers to a movie featuring the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Pasukan Khas Laut, or Paskal, the country’s version of the United States’ Navy Seals.
Paskal, which costs RM10 million, is Teh’s first film based on a real-life character.
Filming will begin on Saturday to May 14, and it will be released by year end or early next year.
A co-production with Asia Tropical Films, Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) and Multimedia Entertainment, Paskal is supported by RMN navy and National Film Development Corp.
“Paskal recruits, like Navy Seals, undergo tough training, and very few pass the recruitment tests.
“The young actors I recruited will ‘sample’ a fraction of this during filming, and last January, they endured a week of basic commando training at the Lumut Naval Base,” said Teh at the introductory event for Paskal in Kuala Lumpur last Friday.
Filming will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Lumut, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Semporna, as well as Morocco, and the film is a biopic of Lieutenant Commander Arman Anwar, who led a Paskal team to rescue the crew of MV Bunga Laurel, which was hijacked by Somalian pirates in the Gulf of Aden seven years ago.
“I was inspired to make this film after a talk with Operation Red Sea adviser Frank See last year. Operation Red Sea is China’s biggest war film about its navy special forces that evacuated 225 foreigners from Yemen in 2015.”
Teh said it was time for Malaysians to discover their modern-day warriors.
“I’ve always believed we have such heroes, and a chance meeting with Arman last year confirmed this. From our brief conversation, I realised Paskal was a world-class team of heroes.”
Paskal, he said, was “95 per cent action”. More importantly, he said, it might help RMN get more recruits in the way Top Gun helped the US Air Force.
“Patriotism can’t be taught in classrooms. It’s instilled in people via stories like this,” said Teh, adding that he hoped to raise the standard of action films.
Teh is known for directing box-office hits The Wedding Diary and The Wedding Diary 2, as well as King Of Mahjong.
The launch of Paskal was attended by Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin, GSC chairman General (Rtd) Tan Sri Ghazali Seth, GSC chief executive officer Koh Mei Lee and Multimedia Entertainment managing director Datuk Steven Lim.
Paskal stars Hairul Azreen as Arman, and his co-stars are Ammar Alfian, Henley Hii, Taufiq Hanafi, Gambit Saifullah, Hafizul Kamal and G. Theeban.
– March 5, 2018