Zahiril Adzim says the story of "Pekak" reflects reality.
Despite being one of the renowned local actors out there, Zahiril Adzim can seldom be seen on either the big screen or the small screen.
However, even though that may be the case, whenever the actor does appear in a new project, he is sure to bring an impact not only to the movie but also on the audiences.
Zahiril revealed the reason he does not appear in movies often is not because he lacks offers, but because he is selective of the works he chooses to accept. He will only take on an offer if he thinks that the work is good.
He added that he is more inclined to be involved in works that are more based on reality instead of commercial, apart from wanting more challenging roles.
Recently, Zahiril can be seen in the movie "Pekak", helmed by new director Mohd Khairul Azri. The movie made history when it was screened at the World Premieres Film Festival Philippines last year and was also screened at the 2016 Marché du Film last May, prior to making it onto the silver screen in Malaysia.
Apart from Zahiril, the Grand Brilliance and Lighbulb Pictures production features a cast made up of Sharifah Amani, Sharifah Sakinah, Iedil Putra, Amerul Affendi and more.
During the preview for "Pekak", Cinema Online spoke to Zahiril and found out more about his character, Uda, and his future works.
Zahiril Adzim and Sharifah Sakinah are among the main cast for "Pekak".
Cinema Online: Can you tell us more about your character in "Pekak"?
Zahiril: In the movie, I play a character named Uda, a person that has impaired hearing. Uda is a drug dealer and he does the work only to collect enough money for an ear operation in order to live a normal life. Uda later meets Dara (Sharifah Amani), a problematic school girl and the two of them fall in love.
What were the challenges you faced in playing Uda, since you did not have any dialogue?
Acting without dialogues is actually the hardest thing for an actor because if you were to act with dialogues, it would be easier to deliver what is wanted by the director and most importantly, the audience will be able to understand our acting. But without any dialogue, you have to play with your emotions and facial expressions in every scene so that the audience will understand what you are trying to deliver.
Did you refer to anyone in order to play the role?
Yes, the first person I turned to was my father, Mohd Mokhtar, since he is a teacher at a special education school. I asked him a lot about interaction even though the story doesn't use any sign language but at least I have contributed something to my father and the deaf community.
In fact, to play Uda, I had to isolate myself and did not talk to anyone the whole time we were filming. I used a pair of earphones and listened to the buzz. I was worried it might affect my hearing, but I had to do so to play the role. I am grateful to be involved in such a brave and reality-based work like this one.
Does the character have a big impact on yourself?
Of all the movies that I've done, "Pekak" and "Juvana" are the movies that have the biggest impact on me. I get carried away by them, beyond the movie set. Uda and Daim ("Juvana" character) make me cry at home when I think about their lives.
What are your thoughts on some of the scenes in the movie, such as the rape and the drug-taking scenes?
Honestly, there are times that we should show how drugs really looks like so that audiences, especially the younger ones, will know how they look like and will be able to avoid them in the future. The rape scene has been cut by the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia (LPF) and I don't think it affects the movie at all. "Pekak" is full of the reality that takes place around us and the main message in the movie is about the blessings in looking for sustenance.
Any new movies you are working on next?
Yes, after this I will appear in one more movie, "One Two Jaga", directed by Namron. This is yet another brave, reality-based movie because for the first time ever in the local movie history, it showcases the dark side of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).
"Pekak" opens in cinemas this 1 September.
Cinema Online, 29 August 2016