Pontianak to haunt your telly

SHUHAIMI Baba’s Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam (PHSM) franchise may not be haunting the cinemas anymore, but that doesn’t mean that the Pontianak has been laid to rest for good, as her ‘daughter’ is all set to roam. Indeed — you’ll get to see the next generation of Pontianak, played by up-and-coming actress Zarina An-Julie Mohd Fahirul, in Anak Pontianak, which airs every Thursday night at 9.30pm on TV3. The TV spin-off of PHSM also stars Ida Nerina, Rozie Rashid, Nanu Baharuddin, Na’a Murad and the original Pontianak herself, Maya Karin.

The story revolves around college student Mia (Zarina) who is unaware of the power she inherited from her greatgrandmother, Meriam (Maya).

When she finally learns of her special abilities, she is faced with more challenges — of getting used to having the power and ensuring she uses it only for good deeds. Like Bernard Chauly’s Gol and Gincu, Shuhaimi, or Shumi’s, move to keep the momentum of her well-received fi lm’s energy — without having to put together a big production budget — is certainly a clever move.

“I admit that I’m playing a safe game in concluding the PHSM story. Based on my observations, even sequels to Hollywood’s blockbuster flicks are often negatively received by critics who, among other things, would have predicted the ending of the fi lm way in advance.

“Of course, I’m going to be really disappointed if negative comments were made about my works, but still, it takes a lot to dampen my spirit,” said the prolifi c director. The freedom of tweaking the script was also another factor that prompted her to venture into TV.

“Doing fi lms is all about deciding whether to proceed with, or back off from, a great idea. Because, once the decision to proceed is made, we have to give our 300 per cent best in ensuring that viewers will be glued to their seats, or else it’ll cost us losses and we’ll have diffi culty in convincing cinema operators to play our fi lms in the future.

“But for television, the pressure is less intense, as we have the ability to tweak the script as the story progresses,” said Shumi. On the similarity of the series’ title with that of a film produced by Cathay Keris back in the 1950s, Shumi said it was purely coincidental.

“Yes, the title might be the same, but not the story.

For instance, the ‘50s supernatural fl ick’s emphasis was on folklore and ghost stories passed on from one generation to another. Whereas ours combines elements of logic and explanation behind all the stories, and because of that, it’s not only scary from an entertainment standpoint, but also morally instructive, as there are many values that can be picked up from each episode.”

With the experiences and successes achieved by PHSM, Shumi and her team are confi dent that they can produce a groundbreaking horror TV series. “Currently, we are trying to include as many (special) effects in the production so that we can leave a deep impression of Mia’s character on viewers — so much so that she would stay in their minds for days afterwards.

For Zarina meanwhile, acting for television is more challenging compared to fi lm, as she has to work much harder in conveying the eeriness of her character, in order to compensate for the relatively lower production values.

“Initially, it was really hard for me to meet the director’s expectations. However, as fi lming progressed and with support from the rest of the cast, especially Maya Karin and Kavita, I was able to cope with the pressure,” said the 21-year-old.

On allegations that she got the role solely because of her looks and the fact that her father works for Pesona Pictures, Zarina said it was “rubbish”.
“I got the role after going through audition after audition. I was part of the team of Shumi’s Mimpi Moon in 2000, so they already knew of my ability to carry out tasks and how far I can go,” said the Malaysia Institute of Integrative Media (MIIM) broadcasting graduate. Zarina said it has always been her dream to act in a horror flick, and she’s determined not to let people who trust her down. And because of that, she has been studying how Maya, and one of the original stars of Pontianak, Ramon Estella, approached their roles.

“Both Maya And Estella showed me the way to make my acting more spontaneous and real. After studying them, I can guarantee that viewers will get goosebumps when I look into the lens and straight into their eyes,” said Zarina with big laugh.

This is a story about Samira or Mia, a very shy and obedient girl who inherited her great-grandmother's powers. She studies at a boarding school called Kolej Tunku Sulun (KTS) for about 2 years. She frequently went missing at night and was later found in the wood unconscious. Mia herself couldn’t remember where she went. The situation went on for a few times and cause disturbance to her parents and the school management. They decided to transfer Mia to a new school where it would be safe for her but Mia refused to go. She wanted to continue her studies there. From there onwards, they realizes that Mia's attitude has changed. Year to year she bloomed into a beautiful teenager full of confidence. She always like to sing a mysterious melody, which nobody know from where she gets it. Only Mia knows where she has heard the mysterious melody and why she frequently went into the woods. It was in the forest where she was being prepared for a very important role. Five months after her graduation and on her 18th birthday, Mia was told that she has inherited all of her great ancestor's powers. Now she has to face with all of her enemies who crave for her powers. The only way for them to get her powers was to kill her.

credit : Malay mail, TV3

But i prefered Maya Karin! She fabulous and the movie 1st and 2nd was great! Duhhhh..feel sorry for the main actress, Zarina..


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Agak kureng la drama ni..
    The main actor...

  3. hehe..dats true..tp ada maya karin gak even ckit..so layan gak =D


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