Happy ending for gay film ‘...Dalam Botol’

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s first gay movie ...Dalam Botol may have been embroiled in a controversy and only managed to garner a measly RM550,000 at the box office here, but director Khir Rahman is pleased with its recognition overseas.

“Box office collection is not important to me,” said Khir.

“We’ve sold the rights to a New York film distributor for US$10mil (RM31mil),” claimed the son of 1960s pop yeh yeh icon Datuk A. Rahman Hassan.

“I’m happy that my directorial debut received good reviews here and overseas,” he told The Daily Chilli.

The Associated Press in its review described ...Dalam Botol as playful, drawing comparisons with Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain and Wong Kar Wai’s classic, Happy Together.

»Boxofficecollectionis notimportant to me«KHIR RAHMAN

“I’ve done my job as a director – that is to tell a good story,” Khir said.

Centred on Rubidin (played by Arja Lee), the movie tells of a gay man who gets a sex change operation to please his partner but ends up regretting his decision when he falls in love with a girl.

...Dalam Botol has raised a lot of eyebrows, especially with an opening scene that depicts bare-chested men rubbing each other on a beach.

There was also a nude scene involving Arja, which was snipped by the censorship board.

“When producer Kak Mi (Raja Azmi Raja Sulaiman) approached me to direct this movie, the first question I asked her was whether she was planning to make money or make a good movie.

“I told her that such a theme will not sell in Malaysia. But it makes a good movie. And she said: ‘I want to make a good movie’.”

Raja Azmi had claimed that the film raked in RM1mil at the box office five days after its release on March 24, but this was refuted by the National Film Development Corporation.

Eyeing the world: A movie poster of the recently released...Dalam Botol.