Man and machine

The dashing Farid Kamil shows off his bike-riding skills and more in V3-Samseng Jalanan.

FARID Kamil first caught the attention of the movie fraternity when he was paired with popular actress Erra Fazira in the thriller, Tujuh Perhentian. It was his first leading role on the big screen and it was in 2004.

Blessed with good looks, talent and determination and standing at 184cm, what is there to dislike about the dashing guy?

Foul play: Farid Kamil plays Rudy (right), who was knocked off his bike by a rival gang member inV3-Samseng Jalanan. Trying to save him is his best friend Brett (Bront Palarae).

Prior to Tujuh Perhentian, Farid had acted in movies such as Cinta Kolestrol, Kuliah Cinta and Hingga Hujung Nyawa, but in supporting roles.

Several more movies followed, but it was his portrayal in Osman Ali’s Anak Halal and Mamat Khalid’s Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang which made him one of the most sought-after names in the industry.

In fact he received nominations for best actor for his portrayal in Anak Halal and best supporting actor for his role in Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang in the 21st Malaysian Film Festival in 2008.

Now, the Alor Setar-born actor has finally fulfilled his aspirations to direct a movie. The 28-year-old actor’s project is V3-Samseng Jalanan, produced by Metrowealth Movies Production (MMP).

V3-Samseng Jalanan, which was originally titled Remp-It V3, was embroiled in controversy due to the Government’s stand on not glorifying mat rempit (illegal bikeracers) in TV dramas and movies. Hence, the title change.

In fact, the movie will be the last on mat rempit to be produced by MMP after the Government announcement of stricter guidelines for filmmakers on showcasing illegal racing activities in movies last year.

Ready, get set, go: Rudy and Brett getting ready for a race. In the movie, the two friends are being exploited by a gang for their racing skills.

The National Film Censorship Board had directed that movie-makers cannot show illegal racing unless the characters (the mat rempit) redeemed themselves in the end.

Budgeted at RM1.8mil, V3-Samseng Jalanan or Street Gangsters tells the story of Rudy (played by Farid) and his best friend Brett who are tangled in a mess when they and a group of friends race illegally until Shah and Liza, a pair of lovers, are horribly killed in an accident.

To complicate matters, Shah had drugs on him when the accident occurred. The gang is now wanted by the police, causing Rudy and Brett to flee to Kuala Lumpur.

The two try to find a new life in the city, but they cross paths with a group of thugs led by Garing and his beautiful-but-evil sidekick Kamsah. Garing just wants to exploit Farid and Brett’s racing skills.

Boasting young and promising talents such as Bront Palarae (as Brett), Lisa Surihani (Kamsah), Aqasha (Garing) and Radhi OAG (Lan Ribut), the movie will open in Malaysian cinemas on March 11.

If the response during the media preview recently was anything to go by, it will be a hit among moviegoers, especially the young generation.

Filled with adrenaline-pumping action scenes back-to-back and projecting a simple storyline, Farid didn’t disappoint with his directorial debut.

“I’m so relieved,” said Farid after the movie preview recently.

“Seriously, I braced myself to face a lot of hurdles before cameras rolled. I’m so glad to be here and my movie will be out soon,” said Farid, adding that he’s extremely glad the movie was rated 18PL with minimal cuts.

At odds: Rudy confronting Kamsah (Lisa Surihani) over an illegal bet during a race.

“I did my preparation as much as I could before I started filming,” explained Farid who cited Michael Bay as his favourite director for action movies.

“Before we headed to the locations, I had my storyboards with all the details to ensure a smooth filming process,” said Farid who admired Alfred Hitchcock’s films, which were known to have been extensively storyboarded to the finest details.

“Those storyboards helped me a lot in getting the scenes right.

“But seriously, I regret doing two jobs at the same time – acting and directing in the movie. There were times in the middle of a fight or action scene that the crew asked me about certain shots and angles. It was really tough.

The movie was completed in 30 days in several locations in the Klang Valley and Alor Setar.

On the action scenes which filled up 80% of the movie, Farid said he was inspired by Anak Halal.

“I was totally bowled over by Anak Halal and I told Osman Ali (the director) about my using a bit of the fighting technique in V3.

“I also went to Bangkok to get that nice surround effect for the racing scenes.”

It was a different scenario four years ago for Farid who was crushed when the directing job for Remp-It (2006), which he wrote, went to Ahmad Idham.

Even though he was playing the lead role in the movie, it was no secret that he was hoping to direct it.

Then two years later he was given the golden opportunity to make his directorial debut on the big screen by MMP owner David Teo.

Being one of the 10 young directors selected by MMP to showcase their creativity and talents, Farid was over the moon when he got the job.

“Honestly, it really took me by surprise that David (Teo) wanted me to direct. I have been dreaming about it since my involvement in acting six years ago.

“Personally, this is a big responsibility and big honour for me to be given the trust to direct movies under MMP,” said Farid, adding that he has another nine movies to work on with MMP.

Not bad at all for a young talent who used to follow his lecturer Associate Professor A. Razak Mohaideen when he went about filming dramas and movies.

For someone who joined the production team as a crew member, Farid’s involvement in movie was purely accidental.

He was asked by A. Razak to replace an actor who didn’t turn up for a drama which he was directing. There was no turning back for Farid who has a degree from UiTM’s Faculty of Performing Arts (Film).

If you think you will see less of Farid on the big screen, fret not. He will be playing lead roles in upcoming movies such as Evolusi KL Drift 2 (opening March 25), Semerah Cinta Stiletto (April 8), Taiko and Estet.

The still single actor is good fodder for gossip. There was his breakup with his then girlfriend Irma Hasmie some years ago, his alleged romantic entanglement with the beautiful Lisa Surihani and the latest one being his courtship with starlet Diana Danielle.

“My main focus now is on my career,” said Farid who declined to comment on the latest gossip.

V3-Samseng Jalanan opens in cinemas on March 11.