Mat Kilau, a Malaysian patriotic film, is now available on Netflix. The film is full of suspenseful battle scenes as the villagers fight for their independence from British colonialism; nevertheless, it also raises many questions. The film was directed by Syamsul Yusof and features a cast that includes Adi Putra, Beto Kusyairy, Fattah Amin and Yayan Ruhian, among others.
The inspiration for the film’s plot is provided by Malaysian historical figure Mat Kilau, who fought British colonists in Pahang prior to Malaysia’s independence.
The following is what the synopsis of the film reads on Netflix:
A LEGENDARY WARRIOR LEADS HIS PEOPLE INTO GUERRILLA WAR AFTER BRITISH ARMIES INVADE PAHANG TO PROTECT THEIR HOMELAND FROM THE RISK OF COLONIZATION.
This review by Mat Kilau provides some details of the light plot.
As with most patriotic-themed films, Mat Kilau begins by depicting the atrocities committed by the colonizers against the country’s indigenous people. A gun-armed English officer who acts mercilessly; the soldiers around him obey every command given by the officer.
Since it is difficult to complete this type of film without elements likely to anger the audience, the film contains controversial characters such as selfish traitors, jealous subordinates, political intrigues among the nobles, and so on.
Coming back to the fact that the men surrounding him are Sikh soldiers, this has led people from the community to review the film and also gives the impression that it is based on the actual historical events that took place have, shows no honor. With that in mind, it’s possible that the film, while tailored to the preferences of Malay audiences, may not do the same for other viewers.
The hero of the story faces the British forces and tries to inspire those around him to share his passion for the cause throughout the film. Also, I feel compelled to point out that the Malaysian martial arts parts were not only remarkable but also really entertaining to watch.
The film is sure to excite audiences in Malaysia and feel a surge of patriotic fervour, and delight viewers in other countries as well. On the other hand, problematic aspects such as the inclusion of Sikh warriors and distorted historical facts are also criticized.
A mostly entertaining work that deals with historical figures but also strays from the truth for the sake of the film. However, it is difficult to say the same about the plot itself, since the fight scene will be very popular due to the fact that its martial arts style is different from what we usually see.
The ending isn’t very satisfying and feels more like a terrible cliffhanger, suggesting it was written with a possible sequel in mind.
Conclusion: Mat Kilau
If you’re in the mood for a patriotic film and can overlook a few minor flaws, this film is entertaining to watch and an excellent choice for those people. However, it’s not a film that everyone needs to see.
The film left me with conflicted feelings and while I don’t mean to offend anyone, I think it’s best to keep watching.
What do you think of Mat Kilau? Share your thoughts with us in the section below!
The events of the novel take place in 1892 when the Pahang lands were still under the control of the British colonial government. That was three years before the founding of the Federated Malay States.
The British had exploited the wealth of Pahang’s produce owned by the Malays by imposing taxes on traders, harvesting the people’s produce and interfering in their traditional practices and religious affairs. This had enabled the British to take advantage of the wealth of the Malays.
The British action, carried out without the consent of the Malay people living in Pahang, has resulted in the Malay people moving against the British.
Mat Kilau, a Malayan warrior, along with his father Tok Gajah and friends, fought vigorously against the British government to protect Pahang, his homeland. and Malaya and free it from further occupation. They were motivated by a desire to defend both Pahang and Malaya.
The British were placed in a position of conflict and pressure when Mat Kilau and Tok Gajah devised a cunning strategy of resistance that eventually resulted in a brutal struggle.
About Mat Kilau
Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan is a 2022 biographical historical epic directed by Syamsul Yusof and starring Adi Putra as Mat Kilau bin Imam Rasu, a Malay warrior who died before independence during the Pahang Uprising in Pahang, British- Malaya, fought against the British colonialists. The film is also known as Mat Kilau: The Rise of a Warrior. Beto Kusyairy, Fattah Amin, Yayan Ruhian, Geoff Andre Feyaerts and Johan As’ari are among the actors appearing in supporting roles in the film.
The film is set against the backdrop of 1892, the period when the Pahang Territories were under British colonial rule. It was Rahman Dali, Shahruddin Dali and Yusof Haslam who were in charge of producing the film. Filming began in 2018 and reportedly ended in 2021. Both Studio Kembara Sdn Bhd and Skop Productions Sdn Bhd were involved in the production of the film as co-producers.
On May 13, 2022 the official poster of Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan was unveiled and on June 16, 2022 the official trailer of the film was released to the public. On the same day, the film screening ceremony took place at the Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC). On June 23, 2022, the film was presented to the public for the first time.
The film was a smash hit at the box office. The film had a production budget of RM8 million but grossed RM96 million after just 40 days in theaters, making it the highest-grossing Malaysian film of all time.
The first film directed by Syamsul Yusof that he did not act in was Kebangkitan Pahlawan, which was also the first film directed by Syamsul Yusof. In August 2017, he shared his plans to direct a monumental film that would focus on the history of national heroes. He previously accepted the challenge to work on the script after a number of production companies and filmmakers allegedly failed to finish filming on the period film and the fight for Mat Kilau. Previously, he had taken over the screenplay work.
At the KL Special Forces Film Gala held in Petaling Jaya on March 8, 2018, Syamsul announced that he will be directing a historical biographical film about Mat Kilau, a Malayan warrior who fought against the British government in Pahang. The film focuses on the life of Mat Kilau.
The first official shooting day for the film was April 1st, 2018, although the production had to be suspended for a while due to a series of problems that could not be avoided. Adi Putra, a Singaporean actor, portrays the role of Mat Kilau in the series. Syamsul claims that Adi was chosen for the role of the main character because of his ability to animate the character and because Syamsul was certain that, as an accomplished actor, Adi would carry the character successfully.
Production on the film was halted in August 2018 due to production issues, but resumed in October. In June 2020 it was reported that filming was almost complete and in February 2021 it was reported again that filming had been completed but the film’s showing had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
The true cost of completing the film was revealed on May 15, 2022 at RM8 million. The date of this revelation was May 15, 2022. A total of one hundred days were spent filming the film and while part of it was shot in Perak state, additional scenes were also shot in Pahang, Melaka and Selangor.
- Adi Putra as Mat Kilau
- Beto Kusyairy as Wahid
- Fattah Amin as Awang
- Johan As’ari as Yassin
- Rahim Razali as Imam Bottoqh
- Jalaluddin Hassan as Haji Muhammad
- Namron as Haji Sulong
- Farah Ahmad as Yang Chik
- Wan Hanafi Su as Imam Rasu @ Tok Gajah
- Yayan Ruhian as a toga
- Ali Karimie as Brahim
- Zarina Zainoordin as Rokiah
- Shaharuddin Thamby as Dato’ Bahaman
- Khir Rahman as Usup
- Ellie Suriati as Salmah
- Siraj Alsagoff as Shidu
- A. Galak as Pak Deris
- Farid Amirul as Goh Hoi
- Mubarak Majid as Father Yassin
- Z. Zamri as Hitam
- Geoff Andre Feyaerts as Captain Syers
- Harith Haziq as Omar
- Wan Suhaimi as Kelubi
- Megat Terawis as Mat Hassan
- Awie Bakri as Haji Ali
- Mark Geoffry as JP Rodger
- David Abraham as Sir Hugh Clifford
- Dennis Arthur as Professor Cameron
On May 13, 2022, the official movie poster for Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan became available for purchase. On June 16, 2022, the film had its first screening at Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC). The official trailer was also made available on the same day.