By NASA MARIA ENTABAN
Over the past few years, social networking has become a huge part of just about everyone’s lives.
You can put your whole life on Facebook – from your daily activities to your work, and even what, or who, you love.
It was this element of social media that 31-year-old filmmaker Khairil M. Bahar chose as the premise for his second feature-length film Relationship Status, which opens in local cinemas tomorrow.
“The thought of doing something Facebook or social network-related was kind of forming subconsciously as I’d go through relationships and have the issues that Facebook brings with them popping up ever since I joined it,” explained Khairil, whose first film Ciplak was released in 2006 to rave reviews.
“It actually feels weird to announce your relationship status online,” he continues. “Before social networking, the way you announced whether or not you’re with someone was with a ring on your finger.
Now, because we can write down our relationship status, there’s all these other options you can have, like ‘It’s complicated’, which is the weirdest one for me.”
Relationship Status follows the lives of people who fall under the seven relationship categories on Facebook – “Single/blank”, “Engaged”, “In a relationship”, “Married”, “Widowed”, “Divorced” and “It’s Complicated”.
While the film is built around the subject of how social networking has affected our lives, it takes an intimate look at what happens in the different relationships including the good times, issues and the dilemmas.
It is an emotional roller-coaster ride featuring actors like Gavin Yap, Susan Lankaster and Davina Goh playing a variety of characters, and speaking in several different languages (English, Bahasa Malaysia, Hokkien).
Among the characters include a divorced couple (played by Daphne Iking and Tony Eusoff) coming to terms with their problems, a grieving widow (Susan Lankaster) haunted by postings left on her dead husband’s Facebook wall, as well as a newly engaged young man (Benji Lim) who is at odds with his sister (Adeline Ong) over his choice of life-long mate (Amanda Ang).
“People will relate to the film. Even if you don’t have a Facebook account you’ll be able to relate to it – the social networking thing is more of a tool to keep the story going forward. At the end of the day the film is a story about relationships,” said Khairil.
The film also stars Baki Zainal, Ruzana Ibrahim, Alfred Loh, Shuba Jay, Will Quah, Pete Teo, Nick Dorian and Nitkia Selvaraj.
Relationship Status opens in selected TGV cinemas in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh (Perak) and Johor Baru tomorrow. To find out more about the movie, head to relationshipstatusmovie.tumblr.com or facebook.com/relationshipstatusmovie.