Monday, December 04, 2006

Our own Malaysian Superhero

Superman, Batman, Spiderman... and last but not least, Malaysia's own superhero ~ Cicak-Man !!!

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Our own superhero
Monday December 4, 2006
By Mumtaj Begum, The Star Online

In three days' time, Cicak-Man will hit theatres nationwide, giving Malaysians a taste of our own superhero who has his own cool superpowers, super-outfit and exaggerated villains.

Like most superheroes, however, Cicak-Man's other personality is somewhat of a nerd who fumbles in real life. Top comedy actor Saiful Apek plays our hero, Hairi, who is a lab technician at Klon Technologies, which is a leading pharmaceutical company in the city of Metrofulus.

Far from being the smartest and best looking guy in the lab – that honour goes to Hairi's best pal Danny (Yusry Abdul Halim) – he goes through the daily motions without too much concern.

About the only problem he faces is how to approach – and maybe finally win the heart of his colleague Tania (Fasha Sandha). Unfortunately, his uninteresting life is rudely interrupted when he is bitten by a radioactive, erm, cicak (gecko).

Fasha and Saiful Apek star in Cicak-Man. The producer of the film, Norman Abdul Halim, said: "To be honest, we don't know what to expect from the local audience. It is the first superhero film from Malaysia that uses extensive computer graphics."

However, he conceded that thus far, he has been getting positive feedback from those who have seen the film. "We are very curious to find out how it will do as the success of the film would signify further development of CGI-based films in Malaysia."

Naturally, there are elements in Cicak-Man that set it apart from other superhero films.

It is a comedy – could it be anything else with Saiful Apek headlining the picture? Cicak-Man is meant to be light entertainment with detailed story-telling and action sequences.

"That is why we chose a creature that is not at all deemed frightening or scary. The cicak is a harmless creature," added Norman. According to him, Cicak-Man was never meant to be compared to Hollywood productions but a Malaysian film. "That is why we are not calling it Gecko-Man but Cicak-Man."

What also sets Cicak-man apart from most superheroes is he is kind of, erm, dying. And on top of that, he is not very good with the ladies. And his costume makes him sweat, well at least Saiful Apek did when he donned the costume in our hot weather.

"Unlike say Batman who has millions of dollars, Hairi has to make his own costume. And in the film he goes through a number of costumes including one in which the underwear is on the outside," said Norman with a laugh.

Guess he truly is an ordinary Joe with or without superpowers. As for being unlucky in love, Norman has a theory: "It is to establish that it is lonely being at the top." Whether there is sequel to Cicak-Man or not, it all depends on how the movie is received and how much it grosses. "The ending is in such a way that a sequel can be made. It may have an open ending, but at the same time the issues brought up in the film are resolved."

Cicak-Man opens in cinemas nationwide on Dec 7.

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