Variety : Breathing in Mud Review
by RICHARD KUIPERS

A Red Films production. (International sales: Red Films, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.) Produced by Angie Choo. Executive producers, Lee Mee Fung, Lina Tan, Alan Tan. Directed by James Lee. Screenplay, Amri Rohayat.
 
With: Nam Ron, Mislina Mustaffa, Mohammad Hariry, Zahaira, Azman, Patrick Teoh.

A husband long thought dead returns to his remarried wife in "Breathing in Mud," a well-scripted urban meller by busy Malaysian helmer James Lee. Gently composed and laced with incisive commentary on love, loyalty and redemption, this project commissioned by local broadcaster NTV7 is much more conventional than Lee's long line of minimalist indie pics and deserves to be more widely seen at fests. Regional tube buyers should also take a look.

Believed to have fallen afoul of his criminal associates years ago, Meor (Mohammad Hariry) suddenly re-enters the life of wife Nina (Mislina Mustaffa), now married to Meor's best friend, Din (Nam Ron). Each man has sired a child by Nina, and Din is thinking of leaving her for his sexy secretary. The thoughtful script establishes an initial air of fear before burrowing deep into Meor's hopes and frailties to establish he wants only to put things right. Tricky topic in Malaysia of unintentional female bigamy is carefully handled, and the pic streams in effective thriller elements in the final reel when Meor's old buddies come calling. Perfs are solid and the basic tech package gets the job done.

Camera (color, DV), Haris Hue; editor, Ahmad Azharrudin. Reviewed at Bangkok Film Festival (Southeast Asian Competition), Sept. 28, 2008. Running time: 76 MIN.

 

 

 

  • Genre : Drama
  • Language: Malay
  • Director: James Lee
  • Format: Digital Video
  • Duration: 78 minutes
  • Production: redfilms
  • Year of Production: August 2007
  • Broadcaster: ntv7 Malaysia
  • Distribution Contact: info@redfilms.com.my

Synopsis
Set in present day Kuala Lumpur, the movie follows a life of a middle class Malay family. Din operates a driving school, is married to Nina and they have two children, Rosli, aged ten & Mina, aged five.  Nina’s life revolve around Din’s business and the children. Din is a good father but he’s also having an affair with his secretary Liza a twenty something year old college graduate.

Mina the five year old girl is Din and Nina’s daugther by birth however Rosli, the ten year old boy is actually from Nina’s previous marriage with Din’s best friend, Meor. 

Nina’s previous marriage to Meor had been chaotic and stressful because of Meor’s illegal activities and his constant run-in with the police. He has been in and out of Nina’s life and one day while their son Rosli was only 3 years old, Meor completely disappears and cannot be found anywhere. All this while Din has been taking care of Nina during the period when Meor went missing. Finally after waiting for a few years, Nina gives up and marries Din.

It has been seven years since, and one fine day when life has become a routine for Nina and Din, Meor returns. He’s well, alive and a very changed man. Din and Nina are shocked and surprised. They do not know what to do next but accept him temporarily to stay with them in their house. Meor’s disappearance remains a mystery since he doesn’t want to tell them what had happened to him during the last seven years. Meor’s son Rosli does not recognise him and has always considered Din was his only father.

Meor is filled with regret but he does not  know what he should do.. As he tries to reconnect with his estranged son Rosli, Din begins to feels uncomfortable and Nina begins to feel confused, with new feelings developing. Their lives are thrown into turmoil again and everyone is in a dilemma. Should Meor leave the family alone but does Nina want him too.

Cast
Nam Ron, Mislina Bt Mustaffa, Mohammad Hariry Bin Abdul Jalil, Nur Yasmin Hanna Binti Zulkarnain

Production Crew
Director of Photography: Haris Hue
Audio: Zolkefli Mat Tahir
Editor: Ahmad Azharuddin
Script: Amri Rohayat
Producer: Angie Choo
Executive Producers: Lina Tan, Lee Mee Fung, Alan Tan Director: James Lee

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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