Istambul Here I Come

Total success has been met with the production of one of the highest quality films this year, Istanbul Aku Datang.
This is not a shameless compliment to Bernard Chauly, the film’s director, but it cannot be denied that his careful and neatly ordered work made the film interesting to watch.

Even its line-up of well-known stars like Lisa Surihani and Beto Kusyairy is enough to pull loyal local fans in to the cinema.
In the beginning, the film plays out like most romantic comedies, where the girl takes a trip overseas in order to find her boyfriend in the hopes of studying together and eventually, getting married. Dian (Lisa Surihani) is also an urban blogger who constantly updates her status on her blog. Sounds like 80% of the female population in Kuala Lumpur right?
But that is not all. Even their love story plays out like a fairytale with Dian being the childish yet endearing personality while Azad (Tomok) is slightly nerdy.

The only difference is the quality of the cinematography in Istanbul Aku Datang compared with other local films, which looks expensive and breathtaking. Bernard Chauly’s filming in Istanbul for two weeks has paid off with its present ability to attract audiences with the gorgeous scenery that cannot be found locally. Applause should also be given to the costume designer as he or she managed to bring out a different side of Lisa Surihani, one that is still a young girl at heart who is still studying but has elaborate plans in making her dream wedding become a reality. However, what the writer is waiting for is the appearance of Harris, who is played by Beto Kusyairy. It is still not known what it is about him that appeals him to viewers so much so that they scream whenever he comes onscreen. Perhaps it is his romantic nature, which is the personality that was given to Harris, and which works, despite the fact that Beto plays it so casually. In the writer’s opinion, Beto should be classed as one of the new generation of Romeos that may surpass Rosyam Nor.

Even though there are some who took offense with the film’s portrayal of male and female co-habitation, to the writer, it is ultimately up to audiences to take away what they want from the film as the co-habitation portrayed is just for laughs as opposed to a lesson that everyone should learn.

Written by Rafidah Abdullah, the contemporary phrases that are thrown around are more than appropriate for the contemporary story. Last but not least, the theme song of the film is also fitting and well done, titled Aku Datang by Tomok.
Nadja Najib
Film Director: Bernard CHAULY
Year: 2012
Running time: 99'
Country: Malaysia