Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Kilat Takes on the World

Kilat the Lightning

by Nur Aqidah Azizi

It's a dream team. With some of Hollywood's biggest names behind it, Tarantella Picture's new film, Kilat: The Tale Of Keris, looks promising. There is Ian Bailie, who has worked on films such as Atonement, Pride & Prejudice and Reign Of Fire. There is Takamatsu Ogawa, who has composed music for motion pictures such as Back To The Future and Gothika. There’s also Jack Waltzer, who has coached many of America's heavyweight names such as Dustin Hoffman and Roman Polanski. With their involvement, Kilat is set to be a hit on the international stage.

If the hype surrounding the film at the recent 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival recently is anything to go by, it is safe to say that the film is already making waves. Many countries have shown an interest in the film and plans for global distributions are already in the pipeline. Currently in pre-production, Kilat will be co-produced and distributed worldwide by US-based producer, Medient Corp.

Its director, Sharad Sharan, says the idea to make the film came about after a casual conversation with his friend, Jak Othman, a martial artist, particularly in silat harimau berantai. Sharad says: "We talked about the possibility of highlighting a Malay martial art form on the international stage. We came up with the idea for Kilat and started working on it." He also did some research on silat to find out more about the traditional martial arts.

Sharad Sharan

"Silat is a beautiful martial art form. There's a philosophy in every move and disciplines that one must follow. As I learn more, I am falling in love with it," he says. Kilat needed a strong storyline and for that, Amritaansh Sharan was brought in as screenwriter for the movie.

"He did his own research on silat, talking to various people, including Jak, (Guru Jak Othman) It is not easy to fully understand silat and it has taken some time for him to really grasp the whole concept of the martial art before coming out with a storyline to complement it. He has done a good job," says Sharad. While silat is the main theme, Kilat is also heavy with human interest elements. "The story is relatable. It’s not just an action movie. It also has all the right ingredients for a good drama that will tug at viewers' heartstrings," he adds. There will be emphasis on brotherhood, faith and deadly weapons. When Syamsul sees his family die at the hands of a diabolical, demoniacal Jaffar, he amasses a group of deadly silat warriors to destroy Jaffar's empire. 

"We hope Kilat will penetrate the international market and make Malaysia a major player. It is very challenging but we are confident that a good and strong storyline is the key."

Kilat the Lightning

Kilat is about brotherhood, faith and revenge. The US$4 million (RM12.8 million) project will begin filming in October. However, the cast members have yet to be finalised. Tarantella Pictures' Renu Sharan, who is the producer of Kilat, says although the movie is produced with the aim to penetrate the global market, local talents are not forgotten.

"We have so much talent in this country, especially in films. The involvement of some top names in Hollywood is definitely a bonus for us. We also see the collaboration as an opportunity for our local production members to learn from them," she says. Filming will be done entirely in Malaysia. This is another effort to showcase the country to the world.

"We want people outside of Malaysia to know more about our country and to fall in love with it as we have so much to offer. For one, the landscape of this country is beautiful," says Renu.

"Kilat is custom-made especially for the global market. If it makes a killing at the local box office, it will be a bonus, but that's not our goal for this film," Sharad says with a smile.

Kilat the Lightning


Originally published in the New Straits Times newspaper, July 2nd 2014