Nik Amir Mustapha has come out with his latest work, Imaginur having previously directed Kil (2013) and Terbaik Dari Langit (2014). I had the pleasure of watching ImagiNur a few days earlier during a special screening together with its lead, Beto Kusyairy at TGV KLCC back on February 17.
To be honest, I had low initial expectations for this film as I was afraid to be let down again – something that I have experienced recently from another feature film by one of my favorite film directors. However, by the time all the promotional materials were out, I was already getting excited and couldn’t wait to see this in person. So kudos to the marketing team.
The film follows Zuhal, a man who tries to cure his panic disorder through Hypnotherapy. However, strange things soon follow, causing him to become incapable of distinguishing between reality and fantasy.
During the screening, Mael (Tellygeram) and I were rooted to the spot, not speaking a single word to each other. And with such beautiful cinematic visuals, the relaxing mood that radiates off the screen and an unblemished ensemble led by Beto Kusyairy, Diana Danielle, Afdlin Shauki and Nadiya Nisaa, it’s easy to see why. But before long, the film starts to throw us into a loop, akin to the vortex that was heavily featured in its official posters.
The non-linear plot of ImagiNur made both of us try to figure out what is going on, but Nik Amir and Redza Minhat are smarter than that. They wanted the audience to feel what it is like to be in Zuhal’s shoes. So that is exactly what they did. Throughout the film, we found ourselves questioning what is real, and what is not.
How does Nik Amir Becomes Good Again
In my opinion, ImagiNur’s script and dialogues are much more refined compared to Terbaik Dari Langit (TDL). I felt that the latter was focusing too much on the sarcastic dialogues directed towards the audience and the film industry as a whole, to the point that it undermines the intended message. Ironically, the expression “Kaw Kaw Feel” from the film which has since become one of the movie’s well-known quotes, did not convey the same feelings in the film.
However, the exact opposite was true for ImagiNur. The dialogue fits in with the story and the whole thing seemed natural. The film doesn’t try to shove its ideal down your throat. Personally, I felt that the expression “Kaw Kaw Feel” resonated more with ImagiNur as it was exactly what I felt when I watched it. Truly “Kaw Kaw”! There was a little bit of everything, from romance, and comedy to thriller. Quite simply, ImagiNur gives you everything that you can expect from a romantic movie or science fiction.
The film is also a visual treat thanks to Idham Mad Din’s (Cinematographer) commitment to capturing the overall storytelling of the film. In his hands, the camera works were made to fit the narrative whereby the right scenes were shown as what the film wanted the viewers to feel at any given moment. Combining those with great production and sound designs, the result is a beautifully visualised world of ImagiNur.
I can’t remember the last time I cried while watching a local movie but tears were shed once the credit rolled in. Perhaps, the character Zuhal speaks to me on so many levels. A guy who has lost the light (Nur) of his life, for it to be replaced by another which gives life a new meaning – is really hard to let that go. Eventually, your life starts to become like a vortex, caught up in the same cycle over and over again, but waiting for a different end.
Don’t forget to watch ImagiNur, which will be out in cinemas near you on 23rd February 2023.