Bront Palarae made multiple trips to the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to get its approval for the script of his new film, One Two Jaga.
One Two Jaga delves into the lives of two cops – newbie Hussein, who has idealistic views on justice, and the jaded Hassan, who receives bribes from small businesses. (Read our review here)
The movie is directed by Nam Ron and stars Zahiril Adzim, Rosdeen Suboh, Ario Bayu, Asmara Abigail, Iedil Putra and Chew Kin Wah.
The film’s script was initially rejected when Bront first presented it to PDRM.
Stories of corrupt cops are rarely, if ever, portrayed on Malaysian cinema.
“We were most concerned about PDRM understanding our intention. It’s not a provocative movie. It’s not a movie meant to tarnish PDRM’s reputation,” says Bront, who produced the film.
“We are not saying the whole organisation is problematic. The problem of corruption is in all organisations. It just so happens, in this film, we’re talking about it in the police force.”
After the initial rejection, PDRM was open to discussion, and various consultation and script revision sessions ensued. Bront estimates the process of getting the approval took between six to eight weeks in total.
“After they fully understood what we were trying to do, I think they felt, ‘It’s not that bad. Maybe we didn’t understand your vision when we first read your idea’,” he adds.
Bront says he will bear the brunt of complaints, should there be any, as a result of One Two Jaga.
“If there are any problems or backlash because of this film, I told PDRM that it would be my sole responsibility.
“I feel it’s not fair to them. They’ve tried to work it out with us and allow us (to film).”
Asked how he thinks One Two Jaga will fare as it is released just after box-office juggernauts Hantu Kak Limah and Munafik 2, the 39-year-old is optimisic.
“In terms of numbers, I feel the spillover effect from Hantu Kak Limah and Munafik 2 will help my film. I have to thank those films because the audience has an appetite for local movies again,” Bront reasons.
He also talks about the perception that One Two Jaga, which has been screened at international film festivals like the 17th New York Asian Film Festival, is not a film for the masses.
“There’s a stigma that films screened at film festivals are heavy and difficult to understand.
“When we were doing One Two Jaga, we made sure it wouldn’t be the sort of film that’ll give people a headache.”
One Two Jaga is currently showing at GSC cinemas nationwide.