Mod­ern ro­mance

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Movies - By ANGELIN YEOH en­ter­tain­ment@thes­

WHEN ac­tress Atikah Suhaime was of­fered the role of a guest re­la­tions of­fi­cer (GRO) in ro­man­tic com­edy Pen­curi Hati Mr Cin­derella, she po­litely de­clined it.

“I re­jected it right away. Then direc­tor Ah­mad Id­ham ex­plained that I won’t be play­ing a vil­lain or some­one who is caus­ing prob­lems to a re­la­tion­ship.

“He said his movie is tak­ing a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to the GRO char­ac­ter,” Atikah, 26, said dur­ing an in­ter­view in Mu­tiara Da­mansara, Se­lan­gor.

In Pen­curi Hati Mr Cin­derella, direc­tor Ah­mad also stars as Sal­man, a busi­ness­man in his 40s who had gone through two di­vorces in his life.

At a karaoke cen­tre in the city, he meets Ameera, a GRO played by Atikah. He starts pay­ing her to go on dates with him.

Ah­mad said he has al­ways wanted to do a story fo­cus­ing on older men go­ing through a ro­man­tic phase in life.

“But I wasn’t sure if au­di­ences would be re­spon­sive. Then, I was in­spired by the suc­cess of two pop­u­lar TV shows – Cinta Masam Ma­nis and Is­teri Tuan Ih­san – both fea­tured older ac­tors try­ing to make a re­la­tion­ship work with younger part­ners,” Ah­mad, 43, ex­plained. He was also keen to ex­plore a story about a man go­ing through midlife cri­sis:“Iused Pretty Woman as an in­spi­ra­tion. If I want to do a love story about peo­ple in my age group, I guess I have to be in tune with what is ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing out there.”

Ah­mad is choos­ing to por­tray GROs dif­fer­ently from how they are usu­ally de­picted on screen. He is do­ing away with the im­pres­sion that GROs are young girls who get into the busi­ness be­cause of a crime syn­di­cate.

“They are not pros­ti­tutes, and my char­ac­ter even says that in the film. In my movie, Atikah’s char­ac­ter chooses to be a GRO be­cause she’s af­ter a cer­tain life­style. She wants to have fun and get money.”

De­spite the some­what scan­dalous na­ture of his char­ac­ter’s re­la­tion­ship, Ah­mad is care­ful not to in­clude any provoca­tive scenes.

For Atikah, her char­ac­ter only goes so far as touch­ing Ah­mad’s knee. How­ever, there is one scene that she is wor­ried about.

“I don’t want my mum to see that! But I can’t re­veal much be­cause it’s a ma­jor spoiler,” she said, urg­ing fans to watch the movie.

In Pen­curi Hati Mr Cin­derella, Atikah plays a happy-go-lucky GRO who steals the heart of busi­ness­man Sal­man. — Handout

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