The cast and crew of Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba before the exclusive screening last week
Malaysian renowned novelist Ramlee Awang Murshid has finally achieved his dream of seeing his work on the silver screen. Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba, an adaptation of his best-selling novel, hit cinemas nationwide last week and was well received by the throngs of movie-goers.
Ten years back, the novelist established a film production company, Layar Sunan, in the hopes of adapting his stories into films and increasing the awareness of his novels. Although Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba’s adaptation unto the big screen meant that some parts had to be cut off, Ramlee stands firm that he is happy that the film has successfully nailed the essence of his 1998 book.
For the first time ever in Malaysian history, Astro Shaw has collaborated with Ideate Media, Karangkraf Group and Layar Sunan as co-producers of this truly unique thriller. Co-directed by local actor-director Nasir Jani and Australian filmmaker Seth Larney, who has worked on Hollywood’s Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions as well as Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, this film stands as a visual spectacle right from the beginning till the end.
Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba depicts the tale of a man named Ejim, dubbed as Tombiruo by villagers, who is shunned by his community due to his disfigured face. Tombiruo’s life takes an unexpected twist following a tragic incident; forcing the brawny character to seek for cold-blooded revenge.
Zainir Aminullah, Chief Executive Officer of Ideate Media, stated that, “Tombiruo offers something different to the audience as it is very character driven. The audiences will definitely feel an emotional connection to the characters as well as the plot as they journey through the entire film.”
He added that they are currently in the midst of discussion with several sales agents to distribute the film globally. “We hope to see a Malaysian movie breaking into new markets and territories as we believe that we have the talent to create international standard films,” said Zainir.
According to Yasmin Yaacob, the scriptwriter, it took almost over a year for her to come up with the script. “Working with Ramlee Awang Murshid was fun but also challenging as we had to work on retaining as much as the original story as possible. We also had to ensure that everything was in place and didn’t exceed the allocated budget.”
Meanwhile, Michael Chen, who plays the antagonist role in the film, stressed that this is one film that Malaysians should not miss. “This has been the best experience I have ever had being involved in local production. You often hear people commenting that local productions are below par but Tombiruo’s execution, from pre-production down to the tiny details, has been top-class,” revealed Michael during an exclusive Kr8tif Express interview.
Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba features big industry players such as Zul Ariffin, who is the man behind the mask, Farid Kamil, Michael Chen, Faye Kusairi, Dynas Mokhtar, Nabila Huda, Faizal Hussein, Datuk M. Nasir, and Datin Marlia Musa.