It’s official: Syamsul Yusof’s Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan is now Malaysia’s top grossing film of all-time.
Starring Datuk Adi Putra as the titular hero, Beto Kusyairy, Fattah Amin, and Johan As’ari, the biographical historical epic details a portion of the life of the Malay warrior Mat Kilau who fought against the British in the late 19th century.
With a budget of RM8 million, the director admitted that it was a challenge for him to include big sets or majestic shots of the palace. “Instead, I appeal to the audience through the story, character development and the spirit of a Malay warrior,” Yusof said.
As of 7 July, the film is reported to have garnered RM53 million in 13 days since opening at cinemas across Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and Singapore. In one instance, the film even beat Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World Dominion at the Malaysian box office. With more and more Malaysians making their way to the cinemas to catch Mat Kilau on the silver screens, the film is inching closer to becoming the all-time highest-grossing film at the Malaysian box office — which is currently being held by Marvel’s Avengers: The End Game at RM87 million.
While Yusof is ecstatic with the film’s huge success, what’s truly important to him as a filmmaker is the audience’s takeaway from tuning into his films. “For me, I have achieved something good by putting out a movie that talks about our history,” he said.
In an Instagram video, Yusof posted a montage of children mimicking the silat moves they had seen in the film. “One of my objectives with this film was for us to really know who Mat Kilau was, appreciate our own history, and be proud of who we are. In that sense, my objectives have been met.”
Featured and hero images credit:IMDb